Egypt Institute Journal (Vol. 2 – Issue 8) / studies
Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis Group: Thought and Movement
This study addresses the roots of the “Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis” group which traces back to the “Tawhid and Jihad” group that had carried out several attacks against tourists in the Sinai Peninsula in 2004 and 2005.
The study also addresses the Sharia approach, the intellectual framework, and the political vision of the Salafi Jihadist group. The study then discusses the general strategy of the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis. In the aftermath of the military coup in 2013, the group engaged in direct confrontation with the police and army forces inside and outside Sinai. However, the group claimed, according to a statement it issued, that its move against regime was only “in defense of the Muslims that were killed by the tyrant and his soldiers in the Republican Guard club, Rabaa, and Nahda; the massacres committed in silence against the Sinai people; and in defense of the besieged people of Gaza”.
However, the group’s allegiance to the Islamic State led to internal splits, isolated the group within the limits of Daesh, and linked it to the fate of the parent organization. Also, pledging allegiance to the IS led to changing the group’s military approach from staging guerrilla warfare to seeking to control lands, pushing itself into disputes with tribes.