Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, an Islamic militant group active in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, released a video purportedly showing the beheading of three Egyptians Sunday, Reuters reported. The militants claim Egypt's government is working with Israel and the three Egyptians were working as spies.
"These are your sons, continuing to harvest the spies of the Jews," an Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis spokesman is heard saying in the video, Reuters said. The three Egyptians confessed prior to being beheaded by a group of masked men. Later in the video, a fourth individual is seen confessing before being shot and killed. The militant group has become increasingly linked to the Islamic State.
"There is definitely coordination between Ansar, the militants in Libya and Islamic State leaders,” an Egyptian security official told Reuters in a previous report on the group.
Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis released a similar beheading video Aug. 28. In the video, four men are purportedly beheaded and accused of being Israeli agents, Agence France-Presse reported. The latest video includes part of a speech by ISIS spokesman Abu Mohamed al-Adnani encouraging Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis to kill Egyptian security forces.
Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis formed after the 2011 Egyptian Revolution and is responsible for dozens of deaths in Sinai. The U.S. State Department classifies the militants as a terrorist group. "Created in 2011 following the Egyptian uprisings, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM) is responsible for attacks on Israel and security services and tourists in Egypt. ABM -- which shares some aspects of AQ [al Qaeda] ideology, but is not a formal AQ affiliate and generally maintains a local focus," the State Department memo reads.
Egyptian forces Thursday killed Mohamed Abu Shatiya, a field commander for Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis.