“The established regimes are not open to reform. What we need is the complete destruction of all institutions in order to build new ones on their ruins that follow God’s rules,” Magd Al-Deen Al-Masry, alleged leader of Cairo-based militant group Ajnad Misr (Soldiers of Egypt) said in a new video posted on YouTube on 10 January.
The group said it solicited questions through social media and that in late December it had posted a list of questions that Al-Masry would answer.
In the video, posted Sunday, Al-Masry speaks while sitting cross-legged, with his face covered. A black flag bearing the shahada (Islamic credo) is seen on his right side and a Kalashnikov on his left. Ajnad Misr has been active for a year and a half now, said Al-Masry, speaking in formal Arabic in the manner of a preacher.
Regarding the ousting of former president Mohamed Morsi, Al-Masry stated that it only confirmed “the truth” of his claims regarding the inability of established regimes to accept a leader who rules in the name of Islam. “30 June served our interests in a way that we could have never imagined because it saved us a lot of time and effort needed to convince people that the only way out is through jihad,” said Al-Masry.
In answering a question about the Christian community in Egypt, Al-Masry claimed that the group is currently at war with the “criminal agencies” of the state, and has not directed any attacks against other communities.
“However, Egyptian Christians are following their church, which has mostly been assuming a hostile attitude,” he added. “Our position will be determined by the approach they decide to take; if they resort to peace then we will be peaceful, but if they insist on battle then we are perfectly equipped for waging war.”
Regarding the targeting of police personnel, Al-Masry said the attacks came in retaliation for “all sorts of crimes against the people”.
Al-Masry then addressed university students and openly sought to recruit them. The masked men said students are an “important pillar” of “upcoming conquests”, and added that Ajnad Misr considers them “indispensable”. “We have even conducted several operations to avenge them, such as the ones in Helwan University and Ain Shams University,” he said.
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has previously called on the United Nations to combat terrorism and take all necessary measures to shut down websites that distribute militant propaganda.