Egypt jihadists seek reinforcements with IS allegiance

Islamic State (IS) militants stand near their flag on Tilsehir hill in Syria near the Turkish border on October 23, 2014Under increasing pressure from the military, Egypt’s deadliest jihadist group pledged allegiance to the Islamic State organisation in a bid to boost recruitment and bolster its fight against the army, analysts say. Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (Partisans of Jerusalem) has waged an insurgency from its Sinai Peninsula stronghold that has killed scores of Egyptian police and soldiers since the army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last year. “(Ansar Beit al-Maqdis) seems to be looking to internationalise their position, perhaps in response to increasing pressure on the ground from the Egyptian security forces,” said Hisham Hellyer, senior fellow in International Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute in London. “They (Ansar Beit al-Maqdis) are suffering from lack of resources as Egyptian security forces besiege Sinai,” said Eman Ragab, an expert on regional security at the Cairo-based Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies.

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