Alleged plot to assassinate Sisi uncovered, as Sinai violence resumes

Armed Islamists in Sinai were reportedly part of plan that also targeted Interior Minister Ibrahim and VP ElBaradei.

Egyptian Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Stringer)
Egyptian Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Stringer)
The Egyptian El-Watan newspaper, which tends to support the military and oppose the Muslim Brotherhood, reported on Monday that an assassination plot against General Fattah al-Sisi was uncovered. The report could not be confirmed.
The paper quoted sources that said that armed Islamists in the Sinai were part of a plan that was also targeting interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim and vice president Mohamed ElBaradei.
The attack was to be carried out in Cairo on the first day of Eid al-Fitr – the holiday marking the end of Ramadan - by jihadists, some of whom belong to the Palestinian Hamas movement. The attack was to be carried out using grenades obtained from Libyan arms smugglers.
The cautious calm over the past few days in the Sinai was broken on Sunday when an attack by gunmen wounded a police officer in Al-Arish, leading to an exchange of gunfire, according to a report in Al-Ahram on Sunday. A security source quoted by the paper said that the attackers were driving in a truck without license plates.
Earlier on Sunday an armed group fired on a police station and no injuries were reported.
A security source told the Egyptian paper Al-Masry Al-Youm on Saturday that the calm in northern Sinai over the past few days was due to the arrest of most of the terrorists. This assessment seems to have been overly optimistic.
The situation in Sinai has boiled over since the overthrow of president Mohamed Morsi on July 3 as Islamic radical groups have been attacking military and government facilities.
Meanwhile, two Islamic shrines were damaged by bomb attacks in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on Sunday, the state news agency said.
One of the shrines targeted was near the North Sinai town of Bir el-Abd, and the other was in the area of el-Maghara farther south. Both were badly damaged.
Often dedicated to saints or descendants of the Prophet Mohammad, such shrines are forbidden according to the puritanical Islamic vision of the militants operating in the area.
Reuters contributed to this report.