An Egyptian militant group affiliated with ISIS has claimed responsibility for coordinated and simultaneous attacks that struck more than a dozen army and police targets in three towns in the restive Sinai Peninsula yesterday, killing at least 26 security officers. The wide-ranging attacks required a previously unseen level of coordination. In the deadliest attack, at least one car bomb was set off outside a military base, while mortars were simultaneously fired at the base, toppling some buildings and leaving soldiers buried under the debris, officials say. The other attacks included mortar rounds fired at a hotel, a police club, and more than a dozen checkpoints.
A military spokesman immediately accused former Islamist President Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood of orchestrating the attack. Hours before the attack, the ISIS affiliate in Egypt posted on its official Twitter account pictures of masked militants dressed in black. They were carrying rocket-propelled grenades in a show of force, while flying the group's black flag. The group, previously known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, has launched several attacks against police and the army in Sinai in recent years. It was initially inspired by al-Qaeda, but last year, it pledged allegiance to ISIS and changed its name to Sinai Province, or Waliyat Sinai, reflecting its loyalty and subordination to the group.