'Egypt uncovers terror plot against Sinai tourists'

Nine jihadi suspects arrested near Gaza while in possession of explosives, grenade launcher, ammunition, 'Al-Hayat' reports.

October 30, 2012 16:39
1 minute read.
Tourists cross the Egypt-Israel Taba border

Tourists cross the Egypt-Israel Taba border crossing 370 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS)

Egyptian security forces thwarted a terror attack aimed at tourists in southern Sinai, the London-based pan Arabic daily Al-Hayat reported on Tuesday.

According to the report, a total of nine jihadi suspects are in custody, after being arrested near Gaza on Friday in possession of explosives, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and ammunition.

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The Al-Hayat report, which Channel 2 reproduced, cited an Egyptian security source as saying that the intended attack was supposed to occur during the Muslim holiday of Id al-Adha.

“It’s too soon to determine how many jihadi cells exist in various districts [in Sinai],” the newspaper quoted the security source as saying, adding that the terrorists’ intention had been to strike vital assets.

Earlier this month, Egyptian security forces engaged a Libyan terror suspect in a firefight, after he came under suspicion of being involved in the deadly attack on the US embassy in Benghazi, Libya.

The suspect was killed in a Cairo suburb and was found to be heavily armed with rocket-propelled and handheld grenades.

Israel has urged its citizens to refrain from traveling to Sinai under any circumstances.

The National Security Council says a “concrete and very high” threat level has existed in the peninsula for a while and continues to remain a high threat to anyone who enters the area.

The IDF’s Southern Command, meanwhile, remains on a continuous state of alert for further attempts by Sinaior Gaza-based jihadi elements to launch a cross-border attack on Israel.

“The Sinai border will continue challenging us. We made a great effort in the past two years to close the border [with a security fence], and it is closed – but even when it is closed, the threat does not stop,” IDF Chief of Staff Lt.- Gen. Benny Gantz said last month following a deadly border shooting that claimed the life of an IDF soldier.

The army has recently deployed the field intelligence Racoon and Granite vehicles – which are packed with surveillance equipment – to the border area as part of its efforts to gain better intelligence on threats from Sinai.

Uncovering and neutralizing roadside bombs has also become a major focus of military forces securing the southern border.

In August, two rockets were fired at Eilat from Sinai.

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