Is Sinai the new Syria? Evidence Russian-speaking fighters left Raqqa & went to Egypt

I’ve written a longer and more detailed piece for Jane’s on evidence that Russian-speaking jihadis are in Egypt, including with Islamic State in Sinai, but wanted to share a few very brief points here.

  • There’s evidence that fighters disaffected with IS left Raqqa and are now hanging around in Egypt playing cellphone games.
  • A couple of fighters are claiming to be waging jihad in “Wilayat Sinai” though many details are unclear (I like my details to be detailed).

Some of the most interesting points for me:

I’m gathering more and more evidence of how Russian-speaking fighters –including senior figures — became disaffected with Islamic State for various reasons. These include personal conflicts, ideological issues, reality not matching up to fantasy/idealism, and IS being cool and all when it was winning and stuff but when it started losing there was like no point in dying or whatever, бля.

Not all of these individuals quit (either because they were not physically able to before they were killed or for other reasons, including pride).

Ditto with evidence of fighters managing to leave. Not all of these were disaffected.

There is lots of fascinating stuff around both these areas that I can’t publish yet…