News / Middle East

Sinai Militant Group Says it Beheaded 4 Egyptians

Reuters

A Sinai-based militant group said on Thursday it had beheaded four Egyptians, accusing them of providing Israel with intelligence for an airstrike that killed three of its fighters.

Four headless corpses were found in the Sinai Peninsula earlier this month, security sources said. This is the first time any decapitations have been made public in Egypt.

The men had been abducted by gunmen two days earlier while driving in the town of Sheik Zuwaid, which is just a few miles from the Gaza Strip.

In a video released on Twitter, Egypt's most dangerous militant group, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, said the four men had been spying for Israel's Mossad spy agency.

Armed men in black masks stood over the kneeling captives as one of the militants read out a statement. Minutes later, the four men had their heads cuts off.

The filmed killings was reminiscent of images posted online by Islamic State, which has seized large parts of Iraq and Syria, suggesting Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis might have been inspired by the group, notorious for beheadings and executions.

The Sinai militants are not believed to be officially linked to Islamic State insurgents. However, Egyptian intelligence officials say the group has influenced Egyptian militants who are based just over the Libyan border.

The officials say the Libya-based fighters have also established contacts with Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis.

Though the four dead men were civilians, security sources had said initially that they might have been targeted for their perceived allegiance to the police and army.

In the video, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis presented what it said were confessions by the men. Two of them said they had spent time in Israeli jails for smuggling. The other two said Mossad had paid them for information.

The group said the men provided intelligence used in an airstrike on July 23 in northern Sinai that killed three of its fighters. At the time, the Egyptian army said no Israeli aircraft or drones had crossed into Egyptian airspace.

Militants in the Sinai have stepped up attacks on policemen and soldiers since then-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sissi toppled President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July 2013.

The attacks initially targeted security forces in Sinai -- a remote but strategic part of Egypt located between Israel, the Gaza Strip and the Suez Canal -- but they have since extended their reach, with bombings on the mainland.

The violence has hurt tourism, a pillar of the economy.

You May Like

Kurdish Party Pushes Political Gamble to Run in Turkey Poll

HDP announces it will run as political party instead of fielding independent candidates in June election, but faces tough 10 percent threshold More

Twitter Targets Islamic State

New research shows suspending Twitter accounts of Islamic State, its supporters has been effective; group, its backers are facing 'significant pressure,' says terrorism expert More

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

Majur Juac made the leap from being a refugee in Africa to a master chess champion in US, where he shares his expertise with students More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures. For now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid