Following the Feb. 16 suicide bombing of a tourist bus in the South Sinai town of Taba, Egyptian security forces intensified their presence in North Sinai. This appears to have now been followed up with a series of airstrikes and raids against suspected Islamist militants.

The primary base of operations for Ansar Jerusalem (Ansar Bayt al Maqdis), the jihadist group that took credit for the Taba attack, is believed to be in North Sinai.

On Feb. 17, authorities killed five militants and arrested three others, Egypt’s army spokesman said. The following day, at least five suspected militants were arrested, according to the spokesman. And on Feb. 19, six suspected militants were killed and 10 others arrested in morning operations in North Sinai, the army spokesman claimed. […]