‘State of Sinai’ claims killing of US oil worker

Joel Gulhane
3 Min Read

The militant group ‘State of Sinai’, formerly known as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, claimed on Sunday the August killing of US oil expert William Henderson in the Western Desert region.

Henderson, 58, worked for Apache Corporation as a petroleum expert in Egypt’s Western Desert. An obituary published by his family in the Enid News and Eagle said he “passed suddenly” on 6 August this year.

The group, which pledged allegiance to militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) in November, announced the claim on its social media account. The group posted an image showing what it claims to be Henderson’s passport and identification cards.

Public Affairs Director for Apache Castlen Kennedy told Daily News Egypt via email: “The tragic carjacking incident this past August involving our colleague Bill Henderson is still under investigation by the US government.” She added: “Our thoughts and prayers remain with the Henderson family.”

Henderson, from Fayetteville, Arkansas, “had a love for fishing, Harley Davidson Motorcycles, show pigs, and most of all his family and beloved grandchildren”, read the obituary by his family. Before his death he was awarded the Apache Improvement Method through Understanding Performance award, recognising his efforts to develop and implement ideas to increase production and reduce operating costs.

State of Sinai, which stopped using the name Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis in November after pledging allegiance to ISIS, also released a list detailing nine attacks it carried out on Egyptian security forces in the last month.

The group normally operates in the Sinai Peninsula but has been known to claim responsibility for attacks carried out in other parts of Egypt as well, including an assassination attempt on Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim in September 2013.

The militants have stressed in the past that they seek to target Egyptian security forces personnel and infrastructure. Deviating from this message last February the group targeted a tourist bus near to the Egypt-Israel border, claiming it was part of its “economic war” against the government.

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Joel Gulhane is a journalist with an interest in Egyptian and regional politics. Follow him on Twitter @jgulhane
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