Terrorist Belal al-Denn during his confessions to Sinai Tribes Union - Youtube still image
CAIRO – 19 August 2018: Sinai-based “terrorist” Belal al-Barahmeh el-Denn, appeared in a Youtube video released by Sinai Tribes Official earlier in August, where he “confessed” that Sinai Province group has plotted to abduct foreigners and target economic project.
Another ex-extremist, whose identity remained undisclosed in the video, led the Sinai Tribes Union to el-Denn. The whistleblower received L.E. 2 million in return, and has been secured along with his family. The same is promised to any extremist who provides information about the militants.
El-Denn emphasized that “fighting the Egyptian economy is a main focus to the group, as shown in their torching of cargo trucks, and cars of drivers… the cement plant… under the premise of that, as they believe, that it strengthens the war on Muslims, on them, the [Sinai] Province.”
Sinai Province, the Islamic State's affiliate in Sinai, claimed a bombing at a cement factory in Central Sinai in October 2017, where security forces shot a car bomb before it reached the gate of the plant.
“We promised to reveal the schemes of foreign powers and hostile intelligence, and those who work under their corrupt chain of inciting channels, the Muslim Brotherhood and other terrorist across the globe,” Sinai Tribes Union said in the video.
El-Denn, born in Khan Yunis of Gaza Strip, is a brother to Abdel Rahman el-Denn, a terrorist who has collaborated with Al Jazeera for four years by filming the Egyptian military in Sinai and terrorist operations and sending the films to the Qatari channel, the video claimed.
In an Al Jazeera documentary titled “Distance: 0” last July, a masked militant introduced as a Sinai Bedouin named Abu Salem al-Terbany claimed that North Sinai tribes have internal conflicts owing to smuggling operations worth millions of pounds as well as differences regarding the Egyptian military.
However, the militant spoke in a Palestinian accent. The Sinai Tribes Union’s video identified the militant as Abdel Rahman el-Denn, Belal’s brother, a Palestinian.
Abdel Rahman, who is still at large, is condenamed Sahm 4 (Arrow 4) or Seif 4 (Sword 4) and lives in Arish, according to his claimed brother.
Sheikh Ibrahim al-Erjani, the founder of the Sinai Tribes Union, was mentioned repeatedly in Al Jazeera’s documentary as a smuggler who benefits from his relation with the Egyptian intelligence, and someone who has no true affiliation or loyalty.
In the Sinai Tribes Union’s video, Belal el-Denn said Erjani is wanted by the Sinai Province to be executed.
He also admitted that the Sinai Province ordered him to abduct foreigners in Egypt with the help of foreign intelligence and demand ransom.
In August 2014 and July 2015, a U.S. employee of Apache Egypt and a Croatian worker were abducted and killed, respectively, and the crimes were claimed by the Sinai Province.
Sinai 2018 operation besieges terrorists
In February 2018, the Egyptian armed forces launched the Comprehensive Operation of Sinai 2018, which has eliminated hundreds of militants in Egypt, especially in North Sinai and the Western Desert, as well as weaponry. Most recently, 12 terrorists were killed in Arish Aug. 12, after they exchanged fire with the forces from a fenced lanced they used as their hideout. The air force, navy and borders guards have contributed heavily to the operation.
Militants have been hammered since then, with the efforts of the military reaching all parts of Egypt. Bishop Yuanes of Assiut told Egypt Today Aug. 14 that the war on terror in Sinai
On Aug. 11, a man failed to enter a church in Mostorod north of Cairo due to heavy security, and blew himself up outside, killing only himself.
On Dec. 29, 2017, a gunman shot at people after he failed to storm a church by guards, killing 8 civilians and a policeman in Helwan, south of Cairo. He was shot dead by the police.
Palm Sunday of 2017, on April 9, was a deadly day for Christians, civilians and police guarding churches. Some 45 people were killed in bombings at churches in Tanta city of the Delta, and another in Alexandria.
The deadliest day in 2017, however, was at a Sufi mosque in North Sinai. A total of 311 worshippers, including young boys, were killed in a mass shooting by militants at the village of al-Rawda east of the town of Bir al-Abed.