Muslim Brotherhood-linked terror group warns tourists to get out of Egypt or risk being targeted for attack

The Islamofascist militant group, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, has warned tourists to leave Egypt “before it’s too late” and threatened to attack anyone who stays in the country after a deadline of February 20. The Sinai-based group, which claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed three South Korean tourists and an Egyptian on Sunday, made the statement on an affiliated Twitter account.

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EuroNews (h/t Maria J)   The attack on the bus, which was travelling to Israel from St. Catherine’s Monastery, a popular tourist destination in the south Sinai, was the first assault on tourists since President Mohamed Mursi’s ouster spurred an Islamist insurgency.

“Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis has successfully sacrificed one of its heroes to detonate the bus headed toward the Zionists, and this comes as part of our economic war against this regime of traitors,” the group said in a statement. Islamist militancy has risen sharply in Egypt, including the largely lawless region adjoining Israel and the Gaza Strip, since the army deposed Islamist Mursi in July, following mass protests against his rule.

Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis
Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis

Since then the army has launched a wide-scale operation in Sinai targeting Islamist militants, and security forces launched a crackdown on Islamists and Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood which authorities labelled a terrorist organisation. The Brotherhood denies any links to violence.

“With God’s will we will be watching this treacherous gang of inflitrators and we will target their economic interests in all places in order to paralyse their hands from (hurting) Muslims,” the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis statement said. The attack marks a shift in strategy among Sinai’s militants to targeting “softer” tourist and economic targets. Egypt’s vital tourism industry has already been hit hard by three years of political turmoil and street protests.

Islamist militants launch near-daily attacks on security forces in northern Sinai, while the south, with its many Red Sea resorts, had been seen as a relatively safe tourist destination. Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis has claimed responsibility for several bombings, including an attempt to kill the interior minister in Cairo last year. The organization also said it was behind a missile attack on a military helicopter last month that killed five soldiers.

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