Islamic State (ISIS) — the terrorist organisation — claimed responsibility for the death of an officer and 10 Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula on Saturday 7 May in a terrorist attack that targeted a water pumping station.
The Egyptian military spokesperson confirmed that the terrorist operation had been thwarted and President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi stressed that “these terrorist operations will not frustrate the determination of the state and the army to continue eradicating terrorism.”
Despite the limited attack and the ability of the Egyptian army to respond to it, such an operation is a new attempt for ISIS to announce its presence and resume its subversive activity in the Middle East again.
This is not the first time that ISIS has announced the resumption of its activity, as the organisation has been trying to regain its strength for nearly two years. Its first attempts began with several scanty operations in 2019, but the first actual operation was several months ago, when at least 100 militants from ISIS launched the organisation’s largest attack in years on Hasaka Prison in Syria.
This onslaught freed dozens, if not hundreds, of its members, including long-imprisoned experienced leaders such as Abu Dujana Al-Iraqi and Abu Hamza Al-Sharqi.
According to several reports, the ISIS escapees were transferred south in a pre-planned evacuation process towards the desert area north of Baghouz and east of Al-Busaira, along the Iraqi border.
This area has become an ISIS stronghold over the past year, as the group imposes a system of taxation on local civilians and small businesses and receives deserters who have repented and defected from the local SDF. The group also operates a large-scale network of shelters, camps, and small desert training camps throughout Syria’s central Badia Desert.
In fact, the operations that ISIS is currently carrying out to restore its strength are not in and of themselves frightening. But what is worrying is the current political situation and the declared conflict between the US and Russia, with which some countries can see the need to revive terrorist organisations in the Middle East to serve their declared and undeclared interests.
The emergence and expansion of ISIS once more is clear and indisputable proof that the global efforts to combat terrorism have been a farce from the beginning.
When ISIS was defeated in Syria more than three years ago, the world celebrated a historic achievement, however, there are question marks about the seriousness of major countries in eliminating terrorist organisations, especially when the interests of these countries conflict with eliminating these organisations.
It is no longer a secret that terrorist organisations in the Middle East are nothing but organised gangs that are used by some countries that seek to dominate the world arena to serve their goals.
This is certainly what explains the contradiction between the slogans of these organisations and their subversive actions. The history of the emergence of these groups confirms this, as after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the New World Order sought to create a new enemy to employ the military return and enhance political and economic gains. This is how external actors found religious, sectarian, ethnic, and cultural issues in the Middle East a pretext for creating this enemy.
Accordingly, Al-Qaeda and ISIS emerged in a global context marked by the search for an enemy around which alliances were built and deals were struck through the manufacture and employment of this terrorism.
From here we can understand the reasons for turning a blind eye to the geopolitical movements of terrorist groups monitored by satellites across borders and within countries and communities or by intelligence reports, monitoring and research centres, and reports that concern the spread of these terrorist networks and their sources of financing.
In a congressional hearing, Hillary Clinton said: “We are the creators of terrorism, we saw an interest in using militants to confront the Soviets, so we pushed towards this, and we spent billions of dollars to achieve this goal.”
A Washington Post report was also published in 2002 stating that the US spent millions of dollars to provide Afghan and Pakistani schools with curricula and books full of violent texts and images and incitement to military operations, and that curricula in the Afghan school system are produced in coordination with the US Central Intelligence Agency.
Also, the storming of Hasaka Prison by ISIS militants under the eyes of American forces without interference raises many questions and suspicions. Earlier, Russian intelligence claimed that the Al-Tanf Base in eastern Syria — which is controlled by US forces — contained ISIS fighters who are planned to be sent to Ukraine, while the US Department of Defence (Pentagon) accused Russia of recruiting Syrian and foreign mercenaries to fight in Ukraine.
The US’ support for Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS also manifested in empowering the Taliban movement in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of its forces from the country to officially announce its blessing for the spread of terrorism.
Many reports also suggest that ISIS may receive a kiss of life from the Taliban after it took control of Kabul in August 2021, which is the most likely scenario.
This is especially so since after coming into power, the Taliban sent messages of support to terrorist factions in Syria. Also, according to many announced reports, the group is expected to launch operations in the foreseeable future under the name “ISIS-Khorasan.”
This matter is not limited to the US only, but the accusations extended to many other countries such as Turkey as well, with reports confirming Turkey’s involvement with ISIS.
According to the description of Vice-President of the German Parliament Claudia Roth, “justice and development’s insistence on facilitating the dirty tasks of ISIS, and Ankara’s unwillingness to join the international coalition to combat terrorism that was formed in Jeddah in September 2014 opens the door wide about the dimensions of the relationship between ISIS and Turkey on the one hand, and between Turkey and the radical groups in the region in general.”
All these indications leave no room for doubt that we are facing the process of reviving a group of hired organised gangs aiming to destroy the Middle East. They are supported in times of need and will not be effectively defeated.
ISIS is one of these models, and it will certainly not be the last, nor will it be the strongest. History has proven that these organizations realise how to benefit from past experiences and work to fill their gaps and issue books and documents that constitute a road map for subsequent organisations.
Therefore, these countries preparing and supporting these organisations must realise the danger of using these groups to achieve their interests, because deterring these groups may become impossible in the future.
This puts us in front of the possibility that these same countries will be targeted by these organisations, which threatens the international arena with ominous consequences.
Marwa Al-Shinawy Assistant Professor at the International American University for Specialised Studies (IAUS)