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ISIS Activates Terror Cells in Nile Valley - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English
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ISIS Activates Terror Cells in Nile Valley

Last year, ISIS launched a wide-scale coordinated assault on several military checkpoints at once in Egypt's Sinai province./ Reuters

Cairo- Egyptian experts said that ISIS has activated its cells in the Nile valley away from the peninsula of Sinai, where it targeted security officers over the past three years. These warnings came with the release of a local study highlighting the flow of huge financial sums to fund terrorist operations in Egypt. According to the study, such sums have played the biggest role in the revival of the Takfiri movements. These reports coincided with many significant measures taken by the Egyptian authorities.

Egyptian observers have highlighted the increase of ISIS attacks in and around Cairo during 2016 compared with 2015, during which attacks were focused in Sinai. Observers saw that the organization has sought to expand its terrorism plans out of Sinai.

ISIS’ al-Haq News Agency published addresses of 5000 police officers in Egypt who live far from Sinai, along with the types and colors of their cars and pledged to make use of these addresses soon. According to reports, these officers serve in Delta and the Valley region.

It is worth noting that ISIS claimed responsibility for the biggest and most dangerous attack that targeted the Coptic Church in Cairo in December; the attack killed 28 people and provoked local and international convictions.

Back to “Takfir”

On another hand, a recent Egyptian study said that terrorist groups in the country received huge funds, which highly contributed to the revival of Takfiri movements. Some old groups like “Al-Jihad” and “Jamaa Islamiya”, which used to focus on preaching, announced that they have adopted violent approaches. They have also resumed their speech of Takfir, and some of their members have pledged allegiance to ISIS.

For his part, Security Expert Alsayed Abdul Mohsen said that ISIS’ operations in Delta depend on small groups that work discretely and intercommunicate through social media websites like Facebook and twitter to launch new attacks that would be adopted by ISIS later. He added that ISIS also uses social media to recruit new members to work according to the lone wolves strategy.

ISIS succeeds on the financial level

Back to the study conducted by Dar al-Iftaa, it said that ISIS’ economy, which makes part of the global economy, has been one of the major reasons behind the group’s survival in the Arab and international arena despite all the hits it has faced.

ISIS Amaq News Agency reported that terrorist attacks launched by ISIS in 2015 ranged between 50 and 60, then, surged to 80-100. This number of attacks requires huge amounts of money. According to the study, attacks launched on “one day” cost USD15 million. It has also revealed that ISIS’ economy is not random as many think and does not only depend on taxes and drug smuggling, but also on more important resources that can cover the huge costs of the group’s war.

Money laundering

The Egyptian study said that terrorist organizations cooperate with businessmen, corruptive groups, and commercial companies in some countries to cover their suspicious economy in money laundering. Groups use these discrete operations aiming at investing these funds and securing their growth in order to cover the war cost, and to deepen their investments through international networks working in the global economy.

The study also said that the extremist groups’ economy depends on weakening economies of countries fighting terrorism by hitting the sources of national income like tourism and oil.

Reports of the Egyptian Ministry of Interior

The Ministry of Interior announced the capture of many cells that belong to ISIS; arrested members held banknotes and plans of attacks. Some security analysts considered that ISIS’ focus on Egypt makes a logical step following the loss of its territories in Syria and Iraq.

Security experts asserted that ISIS has sought to change its strategy in Egypt by targeting Delta and Nile Valley regions to confuse security bodies.

Observers suggested that security forces should concentrate intelligence activities to collect information and reports in cooperation with Sinai’s residents to halt activities by armed cells and to control the routes they use to smuggle money and weapons.

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