North Sinai tribal leader kills 4 Islamist militants

The head of the Menaei tribe, Sheikh Abdel Meguid al-Menaei, killed four Al-Qaeda-inspired militants as they tried to assassinate him at his home on suspicion that he was cooperating with the military, a close relative told Mada Masr.

Seventeen militants went to Abdel Meguid’s house at 1:30 am on the first day of Eid, July 28, and opened fire, so he retaliated.

One of the militants was Shady al-Menaei, wanted by the military as a leader of the Ansar Beit al-Maqdes militant group, though he managed to escape unharmed, the relative said.

“Sheikh Abdel Meguid has to cooperate with everyone in the government for the sake of the tribe’s interests,” the relative, who wished to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the topic, told Mada Masr by phone today. “[The people who tried to kill Abdel Meguid] just want to control the tribe and turn everyone into terrorists.”

Abdel Meguid is related to Shady al-Menaei. Shady’s father is Abdel Meguid’s cousin. Abdel Meguid killed him after a family feud over a piece of land, the relative said.

The incident occurred in the village of Mehdeya. The village has been one of the targets of the Armed Forces’ scorched tactics in its counter-terrorism operations in North Sinai since September 2013.

After the July 3 ouster of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi by the military, Islamist militants stepped up their attacks against Egypt’s security forces, including the military and the police. The Armed Forces has since launched a wide crackdown against Morsy’s supporters, arresting and killing thousands.

The Armed Forces claimed in May that it had killed Shady al-Menaei. However, Ansar Beit al-Maqdes released a statement a few days later denying this. Various sources in Sinai say he has been spotted in the area.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdes has claimed a number of attacks targeting Egypt’s security forces that have spread outside Sinai and into the capital, Cairo, and elsewhere in Egypt. It was initially known for targeting Israel, but after Morsi’s ouster the focus of the group’s attacks became Egypt’s security forces.

It has been involved in suicide bombings, drive-by shootings and assassinations.

Some of its most high profile attacks have included killing five soldiers in a missile attack on a military helicopter in January, and attempting to assassinate Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim in September 2013, when his motorcade in Cairo was targeted by a car bomb.

The US has designated the group a foreign terrorist organization, making it a crime to the support Ansar Beit al-Maqdes.


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