Monday, November 09, 2015

ISIL's Bold New Phase

"Poison their food. Surveil them at home and in the street ... destroy their homes with explosives if you can [speaking of attacking Egyptian judges]."
"We are the ones who downed it [Russian Airbus A321] by the grace of Allah, and we are not compelled to announce the method that brought it down."
"[The success of the attack represented a] blessing of our gathering under a single banner and leader [ISIL and Abu akr al-Bagdhadi]."
Abu Osama al-Masri, Egyptian Salafist cleric

The bombed jetGETTY
The choice of a Russian airliner is thought to have been an attempt to goad President Putin

Now Wilayat Sinai ["Sinai Province"], the Bedouin Salafist jihadis were initially named Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis; "champions" of the "holy house", whose obvious mission was to free Jerusalem from the grip of Israel. And aside from planning attacks on Egyptian police and military, the terror group launched attacks across the border into Israel as a demonstration of their eagerness to clasp to their bosoms the self-appointed task of Jerusalem-deliverers.

It could be posited that when the group released a video where they emulated the glorious exploits of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant by beheading four Bedouin accused of passing information to Israeli spies to enable success in drone strikes, it could be taken as a signal that they had deviated from their original adherence to al-Qaeda in favour of becoming an Islamic State affiliate. ISIL evidently appealed more favourably to the Bedouin Salafists' sense of righteous outrage against their enemies.

It no longer then sufficed for calls to target local violence. Now the local Bedouin populace clasping a rather severe line of Islamist political theology are exhorted to be more ambitious and think internationally. And although uncertainty still hovers over the cause of the jet crash that killed 224 mostly Russian holidayers, it is al-Masri, a 42-year-old who had studied at the elite Cairo-located Sunni al-Azhar University who has become their "person of interest" in the bombing.

Britain is therefore offering their elite forces to aid Egypt and Russia in a "kill or capture" mission. And Egyptian investigators had finally themselves stated their "90-percent sure" opinion in one of those 360-degree turnabouts that a bomb aboard the Airbus A321 broke the liner up in midair 23 minutes out of Sharm el-Sheikh en route to St.Petersburg.

During the protests that eventually brought down President Hosni Mubarak, jailed militants managed to break out of prison. Among them was the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsi, who later became president for a year before being himself deposed. However, while the Muslim Brotherhood agenda was being pursued by Egypt's new President Morsi, the extremist groups were given free reign in the Sinai, growing in presence and in threatening strength and intent.

The internationalization of the threat posed by Islamic State is becoming clearer day by day. The pounding they are receiving by the U.S.-led coalition doesn't appear to have done too much damage to them. The U.S.-backed Kurdish militias appear to be the only meaningful on-the-ground opposition. The Russian forces have been up to the present, focused mostly on the Syrian rebels. Perhaps at this juncture Moscow is re-thinking their target; on the other hand, perhaps it's considering abandoning its venture into Syria's rescue from regime collapse.
"A closer analysis of that material has identified London and Birmingham accents among those numerous voices."
“There has also been some internet traffic suggesting that there was British involvement in the attack. This was a very sophisticated, carefully planned operation involving many moving parts."
“We know there are British jihadis in Egypt fighting with members of Islamic State. They were trained in Syria and are now hardened terrorists. Some of the Britons have an electronics background and have been developing some very sophisticated bombs."
“They have been experimenting with different-sized charges and different types of explosives but there was nothing prior to this attack to suggest that they were going after airlines."
GCHQ, British Government’s secret listening centre

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