Friday, September 5, 2014

Last Call For Growth In The Death Business

Reuters lets us know that in addition to territory in Iraq and Syria, Islamic State is now getting a foothold in Egypt as well.

Islamic State, fighting to redraw the map of the Middle East, has been coaching Egypt's most dangerous militant group, complicating efforts to stabilize the biggest Arab nation.

Confirmation that Islamic Sate, currently the most successful of the region's jihadi groups, is extending its influence to Egypt will sound alarm bells in Cairo, where the authorities are already facing a security challenge from home-grown militants.

A senior commander from the Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which has killed hundreds of members of the Egyptian security forces over the last year, said Islamic State has provided instructions on how to operate more effectively.

"They teach us how to carry out operations. We communicate through the internet," the commander, who asked to remain anonymous, told Reuters.

"They don't give us weapons or fighters. But they teach us how to create secret cells, consisting of five people. Only one person has contact with other cells."

I'm not sure how much of the word of an anonymous Egyptian militant group commander we can trust, but you have to admit, Egypt is a pretty good breeding ground for the kind of conditions favorable to groups like Islamic State.  The government is neither stable, nor popular.  When combined with an outfit like IS, that captures and then governs areas in order to win over recruits and take resources, the recipe is for what would amount to an ugly third front in this conflict.

Hopefully this is just boasting.  I don't believe it is.

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