The jihadist organization Ansar Beit al-Maqdes claimed responsibility for Friday's terror attack on the Israel-Egypt border, which killed Corporal Netanel Yahalomi.
The extremist group, which operates in the Sinai Peninsula, said the terror attack was carried out in response to the film 'Innocence if Muslims," which mocked Islam's prophet, Mohammed.
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Ansar Beit al-Maqdes referred to the attack, in which three terrorists were killed, as a "raid to punish all those who insult the beloved prophet."
In a statement posted on one of the jihadi websites, the group said "after finding out that Jews were involved in this matter (film), are motivating the hostile group of foreign pigs (reference to Coptic Christians in the US), took part in the film's production and encouraged this shameful crime, and because protecting the prophet's honor is one of our duties, your brothers from the Ansar Beit al-Maqdes organization decided to punish the Jews for their heinous crimes."
PK machine gun left by the terrorists (Photo courtesy of IDF)
The group said the terrorists trained for the attack in Egypt and were equipped with Kalashnikov and PK assault rifles, as well as rocket-propelled grenades (RPG), hand grenades and explosive belts.
Ansar Beit al-Maqdes said three terrorists who were chosen to carry out the attack were "overwhelmed with joy" and underwent "rigorous training and looked forward to the day of the operation as if it was their wedding day," the statement posted by Ansar Beit al-Maqdes said.
'Rigorous training.' Scene of border attack (Photo: Roi Idan)
According to the statement, the terrorist arrived at the meeting point on Thursday wearing their explosive belts and "waited for their prey until noon Friday, when the (IDF) patrol showed up and the operation began."
The groups said the plan called for the jihadi terrorists to infiltrate Israel and ambush an IDF patrol. "Each patrol consists of two jeeps, and each jeep carries four to five soldiers. The plan was to hit the first jeep with an RPG and then attack the other jeep with assault rifles."
The second phase of the attack called for the terrorists to ambush the backup IDF forces and cause severe casualties among the "Jewish soldiers."
During the weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu extended his condolences to the Yahalomi family and said, "A terror attack which could have been very deadly was thwarted. (The incident) underscores the importance of constructing a border fence. Without a fence there will be more terror attacks."
Ansar Beit al-Maqdes is identified with the Salafist-jihadist movement in Gaza and Egypt and is ideologically close to al-Qaeda.
In August the group claimed responsibility for the firing of two Grad rockets toward Eilat. It also released a video allegedly showing terrorists preparing the rockets for launch.
About two months ago the organization claimed responsibility for an explosion that rocked the Egyptian pipeline built to carry natural gas to Israel.