Three Palestinians arrested earlier this month in a secret border tunnel linking Gaza and Egypt are members of an al-Qaida-inspired group that had planned to carry out suicide attacks in Israel, an Egyptian police official said Tuesday.
The official said the men were members of the Palestinian terrorist group Army of Islam which had claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of Cpl. Gilad Schalit and BBC British journalist Alan Johnston.
The police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to reveal the information, identified the men as Ibrahim Ahmed, 42, Hassaan Youssef, 21, and Khaled Essam, 22.
A fourth man was believed to have escaped back to Gaza. One of the three arrested, Youssef, was wearing a suicide belt at the time of the police raid on the tunnel.