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A far more radical group of Jihadists emerge!

Interesting Article: Egypt announces capture of Islamists suspected of deadly August attack on Israel's border By AVI ISSACHAROFF / Egypt published Monday, November 16, 2011

An interesting article mentioned that Egyptian security forces announced that they arrested another two members of a radical Islamic group associated with al-Qaida that has been active recently throughout the Sinai Peninsula. They are thought to be behind attacks on a pipeline supplying gas to Israel and Jordan, the official MENA news agency reported Monday. Abdel Karim Mohammed Ahmed and Ahmed Salem Awad, of the group known as Al-Takfeer wal Hijra, were detained during a sweep in the north Sinai town of el-Arish, a day after one of the group's leading members was held, MENA said. Another member of the group, Mohammed al-Teehi, was earlier arrested and named as the mastermind of attacks on the gas pipeline and on police stations and installations in North Sinai, a security official said on Sunday. So who is  Al-Takfeer wal Hijra?


Muhammed Eid Musleh Hamad, was arrested on Sunday and charged with involvement in the planning of the attack on Israel near the Egyptian border close to Eilat. The Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported that Hamad, also known as Muhammad al-Teeh, was arrested at a tourist spot in the Sinai. Takfir wal-Hijra was the popular name given to the radical Islamist group Jama'at al-Muslimin founded by Shukri Mustafa which emerged in Egypt in the 1960s as an offshoot of Muslim Brotherhood. Although the group was crushed by Egyptian security forces after it murdered an Islamic scholar and former government minister in 1977, it is said to have left an enduring legacy taken up by some Islamist radicals in subsequent years and decades. Takfir wal-Hijra has been described as a matrix of terrorist cells - allied to bin Laden but often more extreme than him. What is really dangerous about this group is that according to Dr. Mamoun Fandy, (an Egyptian-born professor of politics and senior fellow at the Baker Institute of Public Policy), followers are allowed to shave their beards, drink alcohol, visit topless bars and commit crimes against Westerners -- all under the cloak of subterfuge. According to Paul Wilkinson, Shukri Mustafa's execution "ushered in the emergence of two wings within Al Takfir: one under the leadership of Abbud al-Zammut (considered one of the original founders) and one under the leadership of Ayman Al-Zawahiri", later second in command of al-Qaeda. Al Takfir wa'l-hijra grew substantially through the 1990s as Arab Afghans returned from Afghanistan to their homes throughout the Middle East and North Africa spread their doctrine and established a "decentralized network of believers ... throughout Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Pakistan and Sudan." Some news reports in which the name Takfir wal-Hijra have been mentioned before with the latest being the RPG-wielding militants who identified themselves as members of Takfir wal-Hijra when they carried out a 7 February 2011 attack in Rafah, Egypt, leading to a two-hour battle with Egyptian security forces and local tribesmen in which two people were reportedly injured. With their ability to hide in plain sight, this Jihadist group presents itself as an organization that will blend into western society in order to carry out the attacks with much more ease than the Jihadis that do not know how to hide in plain sight. Hopefully, with the arrest of the three Jihadists we find enough information to go after the whole lot. 

References:
Islamist Terrorism and Democracy in the Middle East By Katerina Dalacoura
"Al Qaeda's New Front" Frontline PBS News, 25 January 2005
Homeland security in the UK: future preparedness for terrorist attack since 9/11 By Paul Wilkinson, p.47
Jane's World Insurgency and Terrorism
Amid Egypt Turmoil, More Clashes in Sinai, New York Times 08-02-2011

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