A local militant group is working with the IS.
The extremist group Islamic State has issued a new map redrawing the borders of its proposed caliphate to include Egypt, Reuters reported late on Friday.
According to the Egyptian government, the country’s main concern is in regard to militants over the Libyan frontier. Security officials say these groups are inspired by Islamic State, an offshoot of Al-Qaeda, which became known for its swift land seizures in Iraq.
But the IS appears to already be operating within the country, through a proxy militia group. A senior commander from the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis militia, which has killed hundreds of members of the Egyptian security forces over the last year, told Reuters that the IS has provided them with instructions on how to operate more effectively.
“They teach us how to carry out operations. We communicate through the internet. 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,” the commander said.
Furthermore, Egyptian security officials say leaders of IS and Ansar have established contacts.
The influence of IS is not viewed as new to Egyptian officials. They say thousands of Egyptian militants have joined IS’s jihad in Iraq and Syria and could return home with the group’s announcement of the new inclusion.
But the inclusion of Egypt is bound to raise concern from western allies and neighboring countries, as the Egyptian security forces have failed to end a campaign of bombings and shootings which has killed hundreds of soldiers and police since Morsi’s fall.