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New terror groups may increase Egyptian insecurity

Monday, December 11, 2017

Subject

Emergence of new terrorist groups.

Significance

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.

Impacts

  • 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.
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