Egypt’s main terror group supports IS

Updated 10 November 2014

Egypt’s main terror group supports IS

CAIRO: Egypt’s deadliest militant group, Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State organization in Iraq and Syria, in a recording posted on its Twitter account on Monday.
The announcement is the most significant pledge of support for IS in the region outside Iraq and Syria, suggesting its influence over militant groups is overshadowing its once dominant Al-Qaeda rivals.
Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis has waged an insurgency from its Sinai Peninsula stronghold that has killed scores of policemen and soldiers.
It was not immediately clear whether Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis’s pledge would mean a shift in tactics to attack Western targets in Egypt, as demanded by IS.
The group has so far focused its attacks on security forces, and once bombed a tourist bus on the border with Israel, killing three South Koreans. “We announce our pledge of allegiance to the caliph Ibrahim Ibn Awad... to listen and obey,” the audio recording said, referring to IS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. “We call on all Muslims everywhere to pledge allegiance to the caliph and support him,” the recording said.
The group had previously expressed support for IS but stopped short of pledging its allegiance before Monday, even denying it last week. “What are you waiting for after your honor has been violated and your blood spilled... by this stupid tyrant and his soldiers,” it said.
Interior ministry spokesman Hany Abdel Latif told AFP the announcement would make no difference to Egypt’s fight against the militants. “They are just different names for the same terrorists,” he said.


Stena Impero owner met Iran’s Zarif to urge release of UK-flagged ship

Updated 5 min 51 sec ago

Stena Impero owner met Iran’s Zarif to urge release of UK-flagged ship

  • Tanker was detained by Tehran on July 19
  • Erik Hanell, chief executive of Stena Bulk, met Zarif in Stockholm

LONDON: The owner of a British-flagged tanker detained in Iran has met the country’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, to make the case for the ship and its crew to be released.

Erik Hanell, chief executive of Stena Bulk, met Zarif in Stockholm on Aug. 20 to ask for the Stena Impero to be released.

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READ MORE: Iran threatens ‘less secure’ shipping lanes if US halts oil exports

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It was detained by Tehran on July 19, two weeks after Britain detained an Iranian tanker off the territory of Gibraltar. That ship was released this week.

“A constructive dialogue was had and we shared information around the case,” Hanell said in a statement on Wednesday.

“It was important for us to emphasize the importance of the release of the 23 crew ... Also for the release of the Swedish owned vessel Stena Impero.