The Egyptian Islamist group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis has declared loyalty to the Islamic State.
The Guardian reports that the jihadi group released a recording in which one of its members states: "In accordance with the teachings of the Prophet, we announce our allegiance to the Caliphate and call on Muslims everywhere to do the same." The nine-minute audio recording appeared on the group's official Twitter account, and it stated that ISIS' emergence "resembles a new dawn raising the banner of monotheism."
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis is one of the most powerful militant groups in Egypt and is at war with the Egyptian government. The militant group has bombed Egyptian cities and fought an insurgency against Egypt's military in northern Sinai.
"We have no alternative but to declare our pledge of allegiance to the caliph... and we call on all Muslims to pledge allegiance to him," the Ansar Beit al-Maqdis member said in the recording. The recording added that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was "chosen by God" and that Ansar Beit al-Maqdis members vow to "obey" him.