ISIS infiltrates Egyptian special forces, joins with Hamas to occupy N. Sinai, liquidate Sisi
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 23, 2015
Islamic State affiliates in Sinai and Libya have banded together with the Palestinian Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip for the shared goals of capturing northern Sinai from the Egyptian army and staging an assassination coup against President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi, debkafile’s exclusive military and intelligence sources report. They are in the throes of four steps for promoting their objectives:
1. Monday, June 29, a rogue group of Egyptian Special Forces accessed the heavily-guarded upscale Cairo district of Heliopolis to plant a bomb car, which they remotely detonated as the convoy of their target, Egypt’s general prosecutor Hisham Barakat, went by. He was killed on the spot. The assassins were members of the Egyptian elite force which had defected to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Three weeks later, on July 16, notwithstanding reinforced security in Heliopolis, ISIS killers reached inside the neighborhood once again and planted a roadside bomb. It was detonated as an Interior Ministry special forces security patrol moved past. Because of the tight official blackout on the event, there are no reliable accounts on casualties. The authorities in Cairo reported that one Egyptian soldier was injured, but this is no doubt only part of the picture. The following day, July 17, a violent clash erupted In the Talibiya neighborhood of Giza near the pyramids between Egyptian Special Forces and Muslim Brotherhood’s underground cells. Five MB adherents were reported killed, but again no word on military losses.
2. On July 1, ISIS forces launched their most ambitious offensive to date against Egyptian military and police facilities in northern Sinai. Still ongoing three weeks later, the losses the Egyptian military have sustained to date are estimated at 120 dead and hundreds injured. Though fighting fiercely, Egyptian troops have not been able to repel the continuous Islamist assault or contain its advance through the northeastern section of the peninsula. Tuesday, July 21, Hamas terrorists arrived at ISIS positions in northern Sinai for a joint assault on the base of the Multinational Observer Force at El Gorah, not far from the embattled town of Sheik Zuwaid. It was the first major attack on the US-led force that was installed in Sinai to monitor the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace accord – and is still going on.. Here, too, the MFO command and Cairo have combined to impose a blackout on the situation in the camp and the extent of casualties..
3. On July 17, the Islamic state of Sinai sank an Egyptian coast guard vessel with a sophisticated guided Kornet anti-tank missile. The ship was patrolling the Mediterranean shore of Rafah to prevent the smuggling of arms and fighters from Egypt proper and Libya into northern Sinai. This was a landmark incident in that it was the first time ISIS is known to have sunk an adversary’s vessel at sea. Cairo reported at first that a fire broke out on the ship and there were no casualties.
4. On July 22, an audio message began making the rounds in Cairo and other Egyptian cities claiming to be the voice of Hisham al-Ashmawy, an Egyptian Special Forces officer who defected to ISIS. He said the country had been “overpowered by the new pharaoh” and called on all Egyptians “to come together to confront the enemy.” The message concluded with the words: “Do not fear them, but fear Allah if you are true believers.”
Western and Middle East counter-terror experts have concluded that it was Hisham al-Ashmawy who orchestrated the assassination of the general prosecutor last month. They tag him as the leader of the group of Egyptian officers and men who defected to ISIS. Egypt’s elite military units would appear therefore to be heavily penetrated by the Islamic State. For Egyptian rulers this is a recurring menace. Thirty-years ago in October 1981, President Anwar Sadat was assassinated by a senior Egyptian intelligence officer who had secretly joined the radical Egyptian Islamic Jihad, one of Al Qaeda’s two parent groups, and went AWOL a short time earlier.
Tackling Islamism, Post-Chattanooga
Tarek Fatah/The Toronto Sun/July 23 2015
It has been almost a week since the Chattanooga terrorist Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez issued the equivalent of an Islamic declaration of war on America in a text message before killing four U.S. Marines and a Navy petty officer. Yet there are still some Americans refusing to see the writing on the wall, and wondering about the 24-year-old jihadi terrorist’s “real” motives. On July 15, the night before the mass murder, Abdulazeez texted a declaration on behalf of Allah, quoting from Prophet Mohammed’s sayings in the Hadith titled “The loyal friends of Allah.” It reads: “Whosoever shows enmity to a friend of Mine, I [Allah] will indeed declare war against him.”
This particular Hadith is from a collection of the 40 most important sayings of Prophet Mohammed.
The text message was not the only clue to Abdulazeez’s jihadi frame of mind. In a “manifesto” posted in early July, the mass murderer quoted the Prophet Mohammed as saying for Muslims, life on earth should be seen as a life in a prison, but for non-believers (Christians, Jews, Hindus, pagans and atheists) earth is the paradise. Some Americans are still wondering about the 24-year-old jihadi terrorist’s ‘real’ motives. This is a common call by Islamists when recruiting suicide bombers or jihadi fighters for the Islamic State, al-Qaida, the Taliban and Boko Haram. In essence, they claim earth is merely a transit lounge in a journey that will take Muslims to eternal life in Paradise, surrounded by all things that were forbidden to them in this world. Abdulazeez mocked Muslims (like me) who separate Islam from politics, saying such a separation was contrary to Islamic practice.
He wrote in his manifesto:
So this picture that you have in your mind that the Prophet’s companions were people being like priests living in monasteries is not true. All of them [were] leaders of an army at the frontlines … very involved in establishing Islam in the world … Every one of them fought Jihad for the sake of Allah. Every one of them had to make sacrifices in their lives. All of this evidence stares us in the face, yet we are now being asked to believe a statement from Abdulazeez’s family claiming that their son was a depressed youth on drugs. The family claims they sent him to Jordan, so he could get away from the influence of the bad company he kept. I find that hard to believe given Abdulazeez’s own declarations, plus the fact his father was investigated twice by the FBI for sending money to questionable charities in the Middle East (he was eventually cleared) and wanted to marry a second wife in the Palestinian territories, saying this was allowed by Islamic law.
Former FBI Assistant Director Tom Fuentes claimed not to be sure if “Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez” is a Muslim name. There is something wrong in America when as senior a person as Tom Fuentes, former assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is unwilling to conclude the mass murderer was a Muslim. John Berman of CNN asked Fuentes “Now that we have the name (Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez) the key questions are what?” Fuentes replied, “I know … what the name sounds like, but we don’t know that it’s a Muslim name. We know it’s an Arabic name.” On the opposite side are those like former Democratic presidential candidate Gen. Wesley Clark, who has proposed the internment of U.S. Islamists identified as anti-American. For 15 years now the question of “how to combat Islamism” has been avoided in the West so as not to offend the powerful urban Islamist lobbyists and vote banks.
Here are three suggestions:
Interview and debrief every adult male arriving alone from Arab countries, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Somalia, irrespective of religion, colour and nationality. Tell every mosque in North America to end any and all derogatory references to “kufaar” (Christians, Jews, Hindus and atheists) including in ritual prayers, or lose their charitable status. End cash donations in mosques and overseas donations from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab sources. If we do not take these steps now, there will eventually be a very large appetite for Clark’s harsh prescription to prevent Islamist terror on Western soil.