The struggle for Egypt is on the verge of a major escalation as the key sponsors of the al Qaeda-linked jihadist cause in Syria are now committed to a similar campaign against Egypt. Attempts to create a “Free Egytian Army” in Libya have been identified, with the participation of the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda and under Qatari-Turkish-Iranian patronage, in addition to plans to target vital installations, including Cairo International Airport, the storming of prisons to free Muslim Brotherhood detainees, and spreading chaos to sabotage the presidential elections.
Commenting on the situation in Egypt, informed military sources told Al-Akhbar that “Egypt is in a real crisis,” in reference to the gravity of the delicate situation in which the country is going through. “Factories in Libya are making Egyptian army uniforms and distributing them to members of the Free Egyptian Army, in preparation to enter the country in the future and implement those schemes and awaiting the zero hour, which will be set by the intelligence agencies that control them,” the sources explained.
World Tribune The overall strategic objective is to prevent the emergence of an inward-looking regional order based on the Arab heartland, shielded by the Fertile Crescent of Minorities, and thus excluding the external forces. A strong and stable Egypt is considered a cornerstone of such a regional posture.
Because Russia is the primary supporter and sponsor of Egypt and the emerging regional order, the sponsors of the jihadists are convinced the U.S. Barack Obama Administration supports them just as Obama is supporting their jihad in Syria. Jihadist sources directly involved in the sponsorship of jihadist causes in Syria and Egypt just reported on the comparable effort against Egypt.
According to these jihadist sources, “attempts to create a Free Egyptian Army in Libya have been identified, with the participation of the Muslim Brothers and Al Qaeda and under Qatari-Turkish-Iranian patronage, in addition to plans to target vital installations, including Cairo International Airport, the storming of prisons to free Muslim Brothers detainees, and spreading chaos to sabotage the presidential elections.”
Large quantities of weapons, vehicles and other equipment are being delivered to the Egyptian groups and stored in the Darna self-declared “Emirate” in Libya’s Cyrenaica region, pending dispatch into Egypt. Most of the combatants engaged were reported to be experienced jihadis, mostly not of Libyan citizenship, but including a considerable number of Sudanese and other fighters who had gained experience in Syria and elsewhere.
The Emir (Commander) of the Free Egyptian Army is Sharif al-Radwani. He is currently running the training camps and weapon storage site of the Free Egyptian Army in Libya. In recent years, Sharif al-Radwani participated in the jihads in Syria, Lebanon, and Afghanistan-Pakistan. The key commander responsible for coordination with foreign sponsors and intelligence services is Ismail al-Salabi. He is a senior member of the Al Qaeda high command. Significantly, Ismail al-Salabi is a friend and confidant of the head of Qatari intelligence, Ghanem al-Kubaisi, and both meet frequently.
The senior commanders are also coordinating with the supreme leaders of the clandestine arm of the Muslim Brothers the launch of terrorist operations inside Egypt. The jihadist sources specified that “Kami al-Saifi and Ismail al-Salabi, who are both in Al Qaeda, were in contact with the Muslim Brothers’ (Ikhwan) Deputy Supreme Guide Khairat al-Shater and have a special role to play in creating instability prior to the upcoming presidential elections”.
Significantly, the Free Egyptian Army is being organized and run separately, but parallel, to the ongoing expansion of the armed jihadist groups in and out of the Sinai, particularly the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (Supporters of Jerusalem) forces. The Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis started as Sinai-based and Egyptian off-shoots of the Hamas forces in Gaza affiliated with the Egyptian Muslim Brothers (of which the Hamas is an extension)
In mid-July 2013, soon after the Egyptian military overthrew the Morsi Administration and saved Egypt from collapse, the Muslim Brothers established a command post at the Gaza Beach Hotel in the Gaza Strip. The primary mission of the command post is to organize and run the Islamist resistance and, should the need arise, a civil war in Egypt. The Muslim Brothers cooperate closely with the Hamas and the various Al Qaida-affiliated neo-salafist and jihadist forces in Sinai.
The Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis in its current structure and role was funded in late-August 2013 by the Muslim Brothers leadership. The turning point was a deal between Deputy Supreme Guide Khairat al-Shater and Muhammad al-Zawahiri — Ayman’s brother and leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad – which brought the Hamas special operations command and numerous takfiri networks inside Egypt into the deal. As part of the agreement, the Muslim Brothers committed to supplying both Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis and Hamas with weapons from Libya which would be delivered through the Gaza tunnels.
Qatar agreed to fund these weapons and both Qatari and Turkish intelligence officials coordinated the weapons purchase and delivery with their Libyan counterparts. Little wonder that Hamas officials often refer to Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis as “the military wing of the Muslim Brothers” in Egypt.
The Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis networks have since carried out numerous car-bombings, shooting attacks and assassinations of senior security personnel. The jihadist commanders consider this the beginning of a long jihad which would ultimately restore Islamofascist/Muslim Brotherhood government to Egypt.
The jihadists are escalating their jihad to destabilize Egypt through “the battle for avenging the Muslims of Egypt.” According to the jihadist sources, the primary objectives of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis are “to target vital installations, mainly the bombing of the Aswan High Dam, which was at the top of their target list, in addition to targeting a number of churches, places of worship, and police and army facilities”.