Australia has joined a number of other countries in declaring the Sinai-based Ansar Bait Al-Maqdis a terrorist organization.
Ansar Bait Al-Maqdis, which currently goes by the name ‘Wilayat Sinai’ (‘State of the Sinai’), has been responsible for the majority of terror attacks in Egypt since the ouster of former President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013.
The group, which is also designated as a terrorist organization by the UAE, the United Kingdom, and the United States, has been affiliated to ISIS and its leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi since November 2014.
In a statement on Australia’s National Security website, Australia lists some attacks the group has carried out and concludes that it is a terrorist organization. The statement also links Ansar Bait Al-Maqdis to ISIS in Libya and to Hamas’ military wing Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, which is listed as a terrorist organization in Australia.
Egypt’s military, in cooperation with local tribes, has waged a war against militancy in North Sinai, killing hundreds of suspected terrorists. An estimated 2100 people were killed in North Sinai in 2015, including roughly 1800 described by the military as “terrorists,” 150 civilians, 40 police officers and conscripts, and 140 military personnel.