Since December 2016, Egyptian jihadist attacks have killed more than 100 Christian deaths
CAIRO, Egypt – The latest deadly attack by the Islamic State (ISIS) group in Egypt shows that it is still capable of launching bloody strikes in the country despite the military attack on the Sinai Peninsula.
Since February, the Egyptian army has carried out a large-scale operation called "Sinai 2018", which aims to neutralize the Jihadists in the desert region.
But after a few months of silence, ISIS on Friday, 2 November, demanded a Central Egyptian attack, which killed 6 Christian Christian pilgrims and an Anglican worshiper.
The gunmen opened fire for devotees as they went home on a bus from the Saint Samuel monastery in Minya, south of the Egyptian capital.
"When ISIS weakens in Sinai, trying to start elsewhere in Egypt," said Mustapha Kamel al-Sayyid, a professor of political science at the University of Cairo.
In recent years, ISIS has repeatedly targeted a Christian minority of 10% of Egyptian 97 million people.
And Minya Province, said Sayyed, provides "fertile ground" for jihadist operations.
The recent attack was preceded by a near-attack in May 2017, which ISIS also claimed when masked gunmen ordered Christians traveling to St. Samuel to get off the buses and repatriate their faith.
The pilgrims rejected and were shot down one by one, 28 people were killed.
"Islamists in central and upper Egypt, especially in Minya and Asyut, are not hard for ISIS to recruit in the region," said Sayyed.
The jihadists are aiming to show that "Egypt is not stable, as President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi tries to make this impression," he added.
According to another expert, it is clear that ISIS has fared no triumph in Egypt.
"This latest attack shows that ISIS campaign has not yet been successful in Egypt, despite the apparent efforts made by the authorities to handle different parts of the country," said H.A. Hellyer, London's Head of the Atlantic Council and the Royal United Services Institute, is a non-resident co-worker.
Since December 2016, Egyptian jihadist attacks have killed more than 100 Christian deaths.
According to Hellyer, the recent assault "shows that the wider issue of sectarianism in order to support certain parts of the radical extremist opposition remains a serious problem."
As Egyptian military militant Mohamed Morsi was demolished in 2013, extremists regularly attacked security forces, hundreds of police officers and soldiers were killed.
The Egyptian Ansar Beit al-Maqdis group was credited with ISIS in 2014, gained expertise and logistical support from the international jihadist group, which once ruled arbitrary "caliphate" in parts of Iraq and Syria.
The jihadists were soon armed with attacks on civilians and planted a bomb on a Russian plane, which in 2015 held a holiday home in South Sinai and killed 224 people on board.
In response to attacks – and the fight against terrorism – Sisi suppressed all forms of Islamic opposition, disintegrating the secular difference along the way.
At the end of November 2017 Sisi gave security forces three months to settle the order in Sinai against a mosque that exceeded 300 in the northern peninsula.
But almost a year after the ultimatum – and nine months after the military attack – the jihadist uprising remains in Sinai.
Minya's Friday attack showed that IS could continue to hit hard on the peninsula, despite maintaining only a few hundred times warriors in Egypt, according to experts.
The army in October said it had killed more than 450 jihadists since the beginning of the Sinai operation, while the regime claimed that it had lost about 30 soldiers.
Access to areas affected by military operations is completely blocked, which is difficult to justify ground events.
The law groups regularly recalled what the state calls for the state to operate in the operational zone of the state – the authorities refuse to prosecute. – Rappler.com