Emergence of new terrorist groups.
As Egypt prepares for presidential elections in the first half of 2018, two additional militant groups add to an already-complex militant landscape, with rising security risks. Although Jund al-Islam’s re-emergence in the Sinai Peninsula could complicate military operations targeting the Islamic State affiliate, Wilayat Sinai, it is the new group known as Ansar al-Islam that poses the more significant threat.
- Ansar al-Islam’s presence in the Western Desert threatens a wide area stretching to the outskirts of Cairo and the Nile Valley.
- Rising salafi-jihadist groups could disrupt the upcoming presidential elections.
- Violence in the Sinai may spike as the Islamic State affiliate is presented with an al-Qaida-aligned rival.
- The Egyptian mainland, in particular the Western Desert, could become a key battleground for the new jihadists.