Southern brigade trains to counter Sinai threats

IDF’s Sagi Brigade hold special training course to familiarize its commanders with a host of new anti-terror measures.

October 12, 2012 01:21
1 minute read.
Beduins inspect their weapons in Sinai Peninsula

Beduins inspect their weapons in the Sinai Peninsula 370 (R). (photo credit: Asmaa Waguih / Reuters)

The IDF’s Sagi Brigade, which secures the Egyptian border, held a special training course this week to familiarize its commanders with a host of new measures being introduced to deal with the growing threat of terrorism from Sinai.

The new training comes a month after a Salafi jihadi group launched a deadly cross-border attack that killed an IDF soldier, and two months after jihadis killed 16 Egyptian security personnel and attempted to burst into Israel from Sinai with explosives-laden vehicles.

The new training is based on the scenario of a sophisticated terror attack involving a combination of threats – firearms, explosives and mortars.

“The training and techniques are designed to allow us to act quickly, and to take decisions quickly,” said Brig.-Gen. Nadav Padan, commander of the Sagi Brigade. “We are expected to defend the sector. This requires a creative analysis of the sector and of responses to challenges.”

The IDF has in recent weeks deployed the field intelligence-gathering Racoon and Granite vehicles – which are packed with surveillance equipment – near the border.

Uncovering and neutralizing roadside bombs has formed a major focus of the new defensive means used by the Sagi Brigade.

To that end, K-9 units and Engineering Corpse Units are now present on the border. IDF trackers are also trained to identify attempts by terror cells to mislead the IDF after crossing the border.

The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) continues to gather intelligence on global jihad activities in Gaza and attempts by terrorists from Gaza to launch attacks on Israel via Sinai. This intelligence led to this week’s airstrike on two Salafi-jihadi operatives who were in the final stages of preparing an attack on Israel from Sinai.

In the meantime, the Defense Ministry is continuing to build the security fence along the border. Although it will offer protection against the new threats from Sinai, the IDF does not expect the fence to stop all future terror-related incidents, such as rocket attacks and attempts by heavily armed cells to cross the border.

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