ISIS-Sinai, a branch of the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS), is the most active and capable Salafi-jihadist terrorist group operating in Egypt. The group aspires to expand ISIS’s self-proclaimed caliphate to the Sinai Peninsula and since 2014 has conducted more than 500 attacks in the Sinai, mostly against Egyptian security forces.
In 2011, the group now known as ISIS-Sinai formed as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM). At that time, the group had ties to al-Qa‘ida and focused most of its attacks against Israel and its interests. After former Egyptian president Muhammad Mursi was removed from office in 2013, ABM increased its attacks on Egyptian military and government targets. In 2014, ABM pledged alliance to ISIS and changed its name to ISIS-Sinai and began conducting more lethal attacks.
Based primarily in northern Sinai, Egypt
Fewer than 1,000
TACTICS AND TARGETS
ISIS-Sinai uses small-arms assaults, roadside bombs, suicide attacks, kidnappings, and targeted killings. The group mostly targets Egyptian security forces but also attacks government personnel and infrastructure, Israeli interests, Coptic Christians, local tribal militias, and other civilians who ISIS-Sinai members perceive are working against the group or oppose its interpretation of Islamic law.
FOREIGN TERRORIST GROUP DESIGNATION
The US State Department designated ABM, ISIS-Sinai’s predecessor group, as a foreign terrorist organization in April 2014, a designation which remains in effect with respect to ISIS-Sinai.