Monitor Mideast

Meet Al-Qaida’s Sunni Adversaries in Egypt

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In an online audio message distributed on Saturday, Iraq’s Al-Qaida branch called on Egyptian citizens to take up arms against the army, which they described as working to establish a system of “secular infidels” who must be fought. The organization, also known as the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,”  referred to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as “tyrants” for their support for democracy and their quest to gain power through elections.
Said Abu Mohammed Al-Adnani, spokesman of the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham directed his message towards the Sunnis in general and to the people of Egypt in particular. In his message, he called upon people to fight for God’s sake, stating that the armies of the tyrants have humiliated the Muslims whilst establishing polytheist laws. Al-Adnani is referring to Egypt’s Sunni military and the Brotherhood who he deems enemies to Al-Qaida.The recent online audio comes as Egyptian Salafists have aligned their parties with Saudi Arabia and the army against the Muslim Brotherhood.The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have made similar calls against the Syrian government. In Syria, the group has repeatedly called for the slaughter of Alawites and Shi’a. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has long accused the American government of supporting and supplying Al-Qaida, in order to destabilize various Middle Eastern governments. After Morsi’s overthrow, the Egyptian army reversed all decisions directed against the Syrian government. Sisi and the Egyptian generals have recently vowed not to allow an attack against Syria. 


The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant was established as an umbrella organization of Iraqi insurgent groups on October 15, 2006 under the name of Islamic State of Iraq. The group was composed of and supported by a variety of insurgent groups, including its predecessor organisation, the Mujahideen Shura Council, Al-Qaeda, Jeish al-Fatiheen, Jund al-Sahaba, Katbiyan Ansar Al-Tawhid wal Sunnah, Jeish al-Taiifa al-Mansoura  and other clans whose population follows one of the various Sunni sects. It aimed to establish a caliphate in post-Saddam stronghold regions of Iraq.