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Country Risk

New Islamic State command in Egypt likely to target Coptic commercial assets and civil aviation

23 February 2017

EVENT

The Islamic State issued a new video on 19 February in which it vowed to target Egypt's Christian Coptic community more frequently.

This is part of a strategy by the jihadist group to provoke sectarian conflict in the country, in the hope that the resultant political instability will create openings for the group to expand. Separately, on 20 February, an SA-7 man-portable air defence system (MANPADS) was found in a rubbish dump near Cairo International Airport. There was an effort online by pro-government activists to discredit the video, claiming it was from 8 February 2011; however, the video was only uploaded on 20 February 2017 and the presence of an improvised battery pack suggests that the video is more recent than 2011, as the evidence available to IHS Markit indicates that improvised batteries were only developed (in Syria) by 2012-13.

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