Egypt’s military announced Thursday that it killed Abu Duaa al-Ansari, the leader of an ISIS faction known as Wilayat Sayna, and 45 of his top aides in airstrikes in the town of Arish on the Sinai Peninsula.
Fox News reported that intelligence sources confirmed the death of Al-Ansari, believed to be the mastermind behind the October 2015 bombing of a Russian Metrojet passenger plane, which killed 224 people. That flight originated from the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh and was en route to St. Petersburg in Russia when it was brought down.
Al-Ansari organized ISIS activities in the Sinai region including attacks against U.N. personnel, Fox News reported.
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Western Journal was the first media outlet to report that Wilayat Sayna — recognized as the most dangerous terrorist group in Egypt — claimed responsibility for the attack. The ISIS faction released video of the plane exploding over Egypt, and photos of the soda can bomb it said was used to take down the passenger plane.
Egypt said the airstrikes also destroyed a stash of arms and ammunition the group had warehoused in Arish, and wounded dozens of Wilayat Sayna fighters.
According to the Daily Mail, the military posted to its Facebook page the following statement: “These successful operations avenge our martyrs, and keep the punishment of all militants and their leaders on track.”
The Daily Mail reported that Wilayat Sayna has “killed scores of Egyptian army personnel, politicians and civilians since 2011 in a campaign of terror that has included suicide bombers, car bombs and roadside IEDs.”
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