Israel Says ISIS Has Strengthened in Sinai

(Jerusalem Post) Yossi Melman - 60 Israeli Arabs - out of 1.8 million - traveled to Iraq and Syria to join ISIS since its establishment in 2014. In 2017, with the collapse of ISIS, no Israeli Arabs joined the group. According to the Israel Security Agency, out of the 60, 13 were killed in fighting, while two dozen returned to Israel and were arrested, indicted and sentenced to prison terms. The rest, around 20 individuals, are still at large. Israel's intelligence agencies report that hundreds of jihad warriors have arrived in Sinai and are contributing their significant military experience to the thousand-strong force of the local branch of ISIS. The new volunteers either land illegally by boat from the Red Sea or enter Egypt legally on regular flights. Israeli intelligence believed that in recent years, the Egyptian army, through a systematic and intense campaign, had managed to decrease the scope of ISIS terror attacks. In recent weeks, however, the Israeli intelligence assessment has changed. There is growing concern that the human infusion into Sinai will strengthen the terrorists. Where in the past they looked like bandits, operating with no coordination, today they are dressed in military uniforms, carry better weaponry and communication equipment, and operate in larger units.

2018-03-12 00:00:00

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