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article imageISIS attacks Egypt, threatening to destroy pyramids and sphinx

By Karen Graham     Jul 3, 2015 in World
Egypt has tightened up security at holiday resorts after ISIS militants killed 50 soldiers in an attack on military bases Wednesday. ISIS claims to have "taken land" just 250 miles from the Sharm el-Sheikh holiday resort.
ISIS is continuing on its relentless quest to grab more land and slaughter anyone not willing to adhere to their warped version of Islam. Now, they have turned their sights on Egypt.
The attacks on the military bases in the Sinai province Wednesday night was the most brazen attack since the 2005 attack on Sharm el-Sheikh by Islamist extremists. Then, 88 people were killed and over 200 injured.
At least 35 people killed as ISIL group attacks police posts in Sheikh Zuweid and El-Arish on Wednes...
At least 35 people killed as ISIL group attacks police posts in Sheikh Zuweid and El-Arish on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 Al Jazeera's Omar Saleh reports.
Al Jazeera English
Northern Sinai province is being taken over by ISIS
The Islamist group Wilayat Sinai, linked to ISIS since 2014, has wreaked havoc in Sinai province ever since the "Arab Spring" ousting of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. "What we're seeing is that Sinai Province [ISIS affiliate] has developed a real tactical proficiency," Eric Trager of the Washington Institute told The Atlantic. Trager added: "The Egyptian military campaign in Sinai has not sufficiently weakened the organization."
The attacks took place in the Sheikh Zuweid area of north Sinai province, an area that has been under a government-imposed media blackout since 2013. According to The Guardian, the terror group issued a statement saying, “We have total control of many sites, and have seized what was in them."
Zack Gold, a Sinai-focused analyst, spoke with the Guardian. Gold says any control of physical space by ISIS is significant. “The invading of a city, taking over buildings – that is a new development, and it’s similar to the over-running of cities that we’ve seen in Iraq and Syria,” said Gold.
Egypt's tourist trade could be affected
Egypt earned almost £1.25 billion from tourism last year, with this sector making up over seven percent of its annual income. But tourism has been steadily declining since the 2010 Arab Spring. Last year, the country saw a 28 percent drop in the number of tourists, according to the Daily Mail.
There was a drop in the number of European tourists of 24 percent in 2014, as compared to 2013. A spokesman for travel agent, Thompson told the Daily Mail, "We understand customers may be concerned about their holiday following the tragic events in Tunisia. We would like to reassure customers that their safety remains our top priority and in destinations, including Tunisia and Egypt, there are enhanced security measures in place."
The pyramids and sphinx are now in danger of being destroyed by ISIS
“When Egypt comes under the auspices of the Khalifa (Caliphate), there will be no more Pyramids, no more Sphinx, no more idolatry. This will be just”.
British Muslim activist Anjem Choudary spoke these words to Dan Cruickshank, just a few days after his show, Civilisation Under Attack, aired in the UK.
Destruction of artifacts at the Mosul Museum by ISIS militants.
Destruction of artifacts at the Mosul Museum by ISIS militants.
ISIS has already destroyed some on civilization's most cherished historical antiquities, some of them over 2,000 years old, including Palmyra, the Mosul Museum, and Nineveh, the site of Nimrud. Now, ISIS has decided to target Egypt's pyramids and the sphinx, claiming they are representative of idol worship.
According to a statement by preacher Ibrahim Al Kandari, as reported in Founders Code, it means nothing to ISIS that Egypt's monuments are cultural and not religious.
“The fact that early Muslims who were among prophet Mohammed’s followers did not destroy the pharaohs’ monuments upon entering Egypt does not mean that we shouldn’t do it now,” Kandari said earlier this year. ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has reportedly said the destruction of monuments is a "religious duty." The Islamic extremists also think Egypt's tourism industry is “prostitution and debauchery.”
Regardless of how people may view the ISIS threats if something isn't done to stop them, this time next year, the pyramids, sphinx, and anything else of cultural value might be gone.
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