Sinai swears allegiance to new IS leader


Egypt’s Islamic State affiliate, Sinai Province, has sworn allegiance to the new leader following the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the affiliate said on Telegram.

Sinai Province, which has waged an insurgency against the Egyptian state, posted pictures of around two dozen fighters, with a caption saying they were pledging allegiance to Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi.

Quraishi was named last week in an audio message confirming Baghdadi’s death and vowing revenge against the United States. US Special Forces killed Baghdadi in a raid in north-west Syria.

Islamic State resorted to guerrilla attacks since losing its last significant territory in Syria in March and posted dozens of claims of responsibility for attacks in several countries since Baghdadi’s death.

Conflict in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula escalated after President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood was toppled by the military in 2013.

Egyptian ground and air forces launched a major offensive focussed on North Sinai early last year. Military operations and militant attacks continue.