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Will ISIS find fertile ground in Egypt's Sinai?

Tribal elders in the Sinai Peninsula say links are growing between local jihadists from Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).
Flames rise from an Egyptian pipeline distribution station after an attack in the Sinai peninsula July 12, 2011. Saboteurs blew up the distribution station in northern Sinai on Tuesday that supplies natural gas to Israel, the official MENA news agency said. It was the fourth attack on facilities supplying Egyptian gas to Israel this year. REUTERS/Stringer (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTR2OS5A
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RAFAH, Egypt — Following its rapid advance across Iraq, the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) is casting its long shadow over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. The latter is a fertile and convenient environment for the organization’s expansion, particularly considering the presence there of jihadist factions said to be affiliated with ISIS, causing concern for the region’s inhabitants.

“Sinai may become Egypt’s Iraq,” said a clan elder from the village of al-Mahdiya, adjacent to the Israeli border, speaking to Al-Monitor. He meant that Egyptian authorities might lose control of the peninsula, leading to its transformation into a "playground for extremist terrorist organizations," as he put it.

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