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Mosque attack suggests IS aims to make Sinai Peninsula its new base

China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-27 07:49

ON FRIDAY, at least 305 people died when terrorists attacked a Sufi mosque in the Sinai Peninsula. So far, no organization has claimed responsibility. However, the Islamic State is the main suspect. According to Egypt's state prosecutor, militants flying the Islamic State group's black banner had surrounded the mosque and massacred the worshippers during weekly Friday prayers. Ifeng.com comments:

Since earlier in the week both Iran and Iraq had claimed the IS had been defeated, IS leaders would naturally want to remind the world about their existence as well as unite their own forces, as the Iraqi government stressed, the threat of terrorist attacks remains.

Also the IS leaders might have required their Sinai supporters to launch the attack in order to prove their allegiance.

Most of the previous attacks launched by the IS in Sinai have been targeted at the military forces there, but this time they attacked Sufis whom the group has branded heretics. They did so in order to clear any possible opposition.

It is an undeniable fact that the IS group is losing the territory it had seized in Iraq and Syria. For the extremists, there is no choice but to "strategically shift" to the neighboring countries. They are looking to establish a new base, because by occupying territory they can mobilize more resources.

The Sinai Peninsula is probably one of their options, because the other directions have already been blocked by the coalition forces of Shiite Islamic countries, the United States, and Russia. If IS plans to regroup in Sinai, it might have required terrorists there to launch attacks first to prove they are "loyal" and "reliable".

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