Terror group Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis announced Thursday that it will carry out revenge attacks on the United States and harm its interests in Egypt, following Washington's decision to add the Sinai-based terror group to its list of terror groups.
Voice of Israel's monitor of Arabic radio said that the organization vowed to strike US firms and delegations.
Egypt welcomed the US State Department’s decision Wednesday. Foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdelati told Asharq Al-Awsat: “We are in constant contact with the United States, Britain and other countries, and we constantly keep them in the picture to show the reality and danger of terrorism. It is an international phenomenon that threatens Egypt and the international community, and it needs action at the highest levels to fight this phenomenon and dry up its financial sources.”
According to the US State Department, the decision to add the group to the terrorist list followed discussions between the federal government’s Departments of Justice and Treasury. The listing of the group will be followed by a ban on providing it with financial aid and entering into contracts with the group, and the freezing of any assets or property it is proven to own in the United States.
The Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis has already claimed a series of terrorist attacks in Egypt, including the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai. The group had previously claimed a car bombing which killed five people outside Cairo police headquarters in January and the gunning down of six Egyptian soldiers in February.
Several months ago, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis denounced the Egyptian army as “an enemy of Allah” because of its crackdown on Sinai terrorists and called for “jihad” against it.
Egypt’s interim government says there is a direct link between the Muslim Brotherhood and Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, and on this basis blacklisted the Brotherhood as a terror organization.
The terror group has in the past also claimed responsibility for firing rockets from the Sinai Peninsula at the Israeli resort city of Eilat, as well as attacking Israeli border patrol in a deadly assault in 2012. That attack left one border policeman dead, and another wounded.