The local ISIS affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula, previously known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, has claimed responsibility for today’s crash of a Russian passenger plane flying over the peninsula, a crash which killed 224 members.
ISIS claimed they’d “succeeded in bringing down a Russian plane,” adding that “more than 220 Crusaders were on board, all were killed. The Russian Transportation Ministry dismissed the claim, and Egyptian officials similarly said the plane crash was related to reported technical problems shortly after takeoff.
It doesn’t seem like everyone is treating this as a totally impossible scenario, however, as Air France announced in the wake of the crash that their own planes are going to avoid flying over the Sinai Peninsula for safety reasons “as a precaution.”
Egypt has had a war against ISIS, and its predecessor group, across Sinai since the summer 2013 military coup, and initially presented it as a crackdown against Islamists supportive of the ousted elected government. The war has raged ever since, with large casualty figures on both sides.