The Islamic State’s expansion has stepped up Salafi aspirations for an Islamic Caliphate in the Middle East—including in Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya—and the expulsion of the Christian populations from their countries of origin.
According to the Justice Organization for Development and Human Rights, a Salafi plan exists in Egypt—allegedly backed by the U.S. and certain Gulf monarchies—to expel the Christian Copts from the Upper Egypt governorates of Minya, Asyut and Beni Suef.
The Salafi groups are said to own special brigades, secretly armed and trained by former Saudi intelligence chief Bandar bin Sultan for the purpose of carrying out this plan and facilitating a Salafi takeover.
A Justice Organization media spokesman suggests collusion between the Egyptian government and the Salafis, meant to preserve good relations with the Saudis. This potentially threatens thousands of Copts with forced exile, especially in the Delta and Upper Egypt regions, in a replication of the Iraqi scenario with the Islamic State.