Back in May we noted that a backgrounder produced by BBC Monitoring titled “Sinai Province: Egypt’s most dangerous group” included the following inaccurate information.
“Sinai Province started by attacking Israel with rockets, but after the removal of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2013 it focused on Egypt’s security services, killing dozens of soldiers.”
That inaccurate information reappeared in an insert found in an article published on the BBC News website’s Middle East page on August 4th under the title “Egypt ‘kills head of Islamic State’s Sinai branch’“.
As was noted here at the time:
“Sinai Province (formerly known as Ansar Bayt al Maqdis) emerged in 2011 after the ousting of the former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. Its activities began with attacks on the oil pipelines running between Israel and Egypt and on July 30th of that year it attacked a police station in El Arish, killing six people. On August 14th 2011 the Egyptian army launched ‘Operation Eagle’ to tackle the insurgency and four days later a combined terror attack took place along the Israeli-Egyptian border resulting in the deaths of eight Israelis.
On August 5th 2012 – just over a month after Mohammed Morsi became president of Egypt – an Egyptian army post near Rafah was attacked and more than 15 Egyptian security personnel were killed. The terrorists proceeded to the Kerem Shalom crossing in stolen vehicles and briefly breached the border. Two days later the Egyptian army launched ‘Operation Sinai’. On September 21st Ansar Bayt al Maqdis launched a terror attack on the Israeli-Egyptian border in which an Israeli soldier was killed.
In other words, the BBC’s claim that “Sinai Province started by attacking Israel with rockets” is not accurate: serious cross-border attacks also took place. The claim that attacks on Egypt’s security services began “after the removal of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2013” is also clearly inaccurate.”
As the insert shows, the BBC is aware of the fact that the organisation formerly known as Ansar Bayt al Maqdis “changed its name” in November 2014. Nevertheless, at the beginning of the article readers are told that:
“The Egyptian military says it has killed the head of the Sinai branch of so-called Islamic State (IS), along with dozens of its fighters.
It said Abu Duaa al-Ansari was killed in a series of air strikes on fighters of the Sinai Province – or Ansar Beit al-Maqdis – group.”
At the end of the report readers are told that:
“On Wednesday, a video said to be from the IS Sinai affiliate issued a rare direct threat to Israel, saying it would soon “pay a high price”.”
As the Jerusalem Post reports, the video in fact included threats against Jews.
“”This is only the beginning, and our meeting [will be] in Rome and Beit Al-Maqdis [Jerusalem],” the video’s narrator was quoted as saying, according to a translation by the Middle East Research Institute (MEMRI).
“Oh Jews, wait for us. The punishment [we have prepared for you] is severe and soon you will pay a high price,” threatens the narrator.”
“”Jews will not remain in Palestine, we will turn it into a graveyard for Jews,” Israeli media quoted the video as saying. […]
The video refers to Israel as “El Yahud” or the Jews, rather than Israel.”
As readers may recall, this is not the first time that the BBC has done a makeover on the Sinai-based ISIS affiliate’s language.