'Troops in Sinai on high alert after Gaza strike'

Egyptian security officials tell Palestinian news agency 'Ma'an' they expect retaliation after IDF assassinates Palestinian jihadi leader.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
October 15, 2012 11:26
1 minute read.
Sinai border fence

Sinai border fence 370. (photo credit: Reuters/ BAZ RATNER)

 
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Egyptian security forces were on high alert in the Sinai Peninsula on Monday, following an Israeli strike on the Gaza Strip that killed the commander of a Jihadi-Salafi terror group on Saturday, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported.

Egyptian security officials told Ma'an Sunday night that authorities in Cairo warned troops in northern Sinai of a possible retaliatory attack on Egyptian bases or attempted attacks on Israeli targets.

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The commander killed in the air strike has been identified as Hisham Al-Saedni, also known as Abu Al-Waleed Al-Maqdissi, believed to head the Jihadist Salafi group Tawhid and Jihad (One God and Holy War). Al-Saedni and his accomplice, who had been firing rockets into southern Israel, also took part in previous terror attacks on Israel from the Sinai Peninsula, and was in the final stages of plotting a new attack, an IDF source said.

Tawid and Jihad, a rival to Hamas, has an Islamist ideology shared by al-Qaida and sources claim that Saedni joined al-Qaida in Iraq at the beginning of the US-led invasion in 2003.

In March 2011 Hamas detained Saedni for 17 months but freed him in August.

Last year members identifying themselves with Tawhid and Jihad kidnapped and killed a pro-Palestinian Italian activist, Vittorio Arrigoni, in an apparent attempt to secure the release of Saedni.

Yaakov Lappin and Reuters contributed to this report

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