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Ajnad Misr, Egypt's latest jihadist group

In a statement released on Jan. 23, a group calling itself Ajnad Misr (Soldiers of Egypt) said it was launching a campaign to target "criminal" elements of Egypt's current regime. The purported jihadist group, which operates Facebook and Twitter pages, the following day claimed responsibility for attacks in Cairo that targeted security forces.

The Sinai-based jihadist group Ansar Jerusalem (Ansar Bayt al Maqdis), which originally said its fighters were responsible for all of the bombings in Cairo on Jan. 24, later acknowledged that Ajnad Misr was behind some of the Cairo violence. There was "confusion" over who exactly was responsible for some of the attacks as Ajnad Misr and Ansar Jerusalem fighters were operating in the same area around the same time, the Sinai-based group said. In the statement, Ajnad Misr was described by Ansar Jerusalem as "our brothers."

Like Ansar Jerusalem, Ajnad Misr has claimed in its statements that it is not looking to harm civilians but is focused on attacking Egyptian security forces. In a Jan. 24 statement, the group claimed its fighters were responsible for at least three previous attacks prior to those conducted on Jan. 24. The earlier attacks, which took place on Nov. 20, Nov. 25, and Jan. 7, allowed the group to see how Egyptian authorities would react, Ajnad Misr said.

In a statement released on Jan. 31, Ajnad Misr said its fighters were responsible for detonating two IEDs that injured at least one member of Egypt's security forces near Cairo on Jan. 31.

The first two statements from Ajnad Misr, whose attacks appear to have thus far been limited to the Cairo area, received relatively little attention from online jihadists. In recent days, however, the group's statements have appeared on top-tier jihadist forums. In addition, global jihadi media units, such as the Ibn Taymiyyah Media Center and Al Battar Media Foundation, have started to promote some of the group's material.

[Source: By David Barnett, Threat Matrix, The Long War Journal, 02Feb14]

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