Aqaba Rocket 311.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Egyptian security authorities have thwarted a plot to carry out terror attacks
against tourist resorts in Sharm e-Sheikh, the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat
newspaper reported on Sunday.
The report said that three men carrying
explosives and tools used for manufacturing bombs were arrested by Egyptian
security forces five days before last week’s rocket attacks on Eilat and the
Jordanian Red Sea port city of Aqaba.
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Egyptian security sources refused
to comment on the report.
However, the paper quoted Beduin living in
Sinai as claiming that they had been the ones who stopped the three suspects
before handing them over to law-enforcement authorities.
It’s not clear
why the Egyptians chose not to publicize the arrests of the three, who were
apparently on their way to attack tourist resorts in Sharm e-Sheikh.
Egyptian authorities are now trying to find out whether the three, who have not
been identified, are connected to the rocket attacks on Eilat and Aqaba, the
The report quoted Beduin who were allegedly involved in the
capture of the three as saying that one of the men apprehended was probably a
The paper quoted an Egyptian security source as saying that
a number of terror suspects had been arrested in Sinai, but that those arrested
were not being tied to the rocket attacks.
The Egyptian source said Cairo
still had doubts whether the rockets were indeed fired from Sinai toward Eilat
and Aqaba. Last week, Egyptian authorities initially denied that the rockets had
been fired from Sinai.
Later, however, they backed down and claimed that
Palestinian groups that had infiltrated the border with the Gaza Strip were
behind the attacks.
Hamas and other armed Palestinian groups in the Gaza
Strip continue to deny any involvement in the rocket attacks last week, which
killed a Jordanian citizen and wounded several others.
forces, meanwhile, have launched a massive investigation to determine
terrorists had used Sinai as a launching pad for firing the rockets.
Egyptians believe that fundamentalist Muslims belonging to an armed
behind the attacks. One theory is that the terrorists were part of an
al-Qaida-inspired cell that consists of fundamentalists from the Gaza
In a separate development, the Islamic Jihad organization in the
Gaza Strip denied on Sunday that it had agreed to stop firing rockets at
Daoud Shihab, a spokesman for the group, said that “rockets were
a tactical means that we resort to when needed.”
He said that reports to
the effect that his organization had agreed to halt the rocket attacks