Draining the Swamp? Egypt’s Intractable Challenge in Containing the Sinai Insurgency

Saud Alsarhan & Sebastian Maier

The Sinai peninsula, and, in particular, the affected land strip in the vicinity of the northern coastal town of El-Arish, has been the staging ground for a variety of spectacular militant attacks in recent years. In 2015, a suicide bombing and subsequent shooting shattered the Swiss Inn Resort in Arish, while in October 2014 and March 2016 local security checkpoints were targeted, killing dozens of security personnel from both the army and the police. In all instances, the local ISIS offshoot, Wilayat Sinai, has claimed responsibility, including in 2015 when it brought down Russian Metrojet flght 9268 from the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, ultimately killing all 224 passengers and crew on board.