The Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis (ABM) militant group has said that the Islamic State has been providing training for militants on how to operate effectively while battling Egyptian security forces.
A senior ABM commander told Reuters that the group was communicating with the IS. “They teach us how to carry out operations,” he said. “We communicate through the Internet”.
“They are teaching us how to attack security forces, the element of surprise,” he said. “They told us to plant bombs then wait 12 hours so that the man planting the device has enough time to escape from the town he is in.”
According to media reports, the Islamic State, which has expanded its power over vast areas in Iraq and Syria, is planning to continue expanding into other Arab countries, including Egypt.
An Egyptian security official confirmed that there are links between the Islamic State and the Ansar Al-Sharia militant group in Libya, denying claims by Egyptian media outlets of the existence of the Islamic State in Egypt.
Egyptian security forces estimate that nearly 8,000 militants are currently active in the Sinai Peninsula alone. Sinai is considered a hub for militants because of the lack of governing and infrastructure in the region.
Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis was formed after the 25 January Revolution. However, the peak of their activity came following the ouster of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
Islamic State threats are taken seriously in Egypt which is currently heavily involved in a battle against locally-based terrorism.