File - Army trucks carry Egyptian tanks in a military convoy in Al-Arish, Egypt's northern Sinai Peninsula August 9, 2012. (AP Photo)
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ISIS, fighting to redraw the map of the Middle East, has been coaching Egypt's most dangerous militant group, complicating efforts to stabilize the biggest Arab nation.Confirmation that ISIS, currently the most successful of the region's jihadist groups, is extending its influence to Egypt will sound alarm bells in Cairo, where the authorities are already facing a security challenge from homegrown militants.A senior commander from the Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which has killed hundreds of members of the Egyptian security forces over the last year, said ISIS has provided instructions on how to operate more effectively.ISIS became the first jihadist group to defeat an Arab army in a major operation after steamrolling through northern Iraq in June almost unopposed by the Iraqi military.Army offensives have squeezed Ansar, forcing its members to flee to other parts of Egypt, the commander said.Security officials say these groups are inspired by ISIS, an offshoot of Al-Qaeda notorious for beheadings and mass executions, most recently of U.S. journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.Egyptian security officials say leaders of ISIS and Ansar have established contacts.The commander said bombings not carried out by Ansar suggested new militant groups had appeared in Egypt, adding that there is a flow of militants both ways across the Libyan border.
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