Egypt: Al-Qaeda members in Sinai

Authorities increase security around tourist areas; Israelis urged to leave.

Egyptian security forces are conducting a manhunt for five men thought to be affiliated with Al-Qaeda, Al-Jazeera television reported Friday. Local police are searching for explosive devices they say may have been planted in laptop computers by terrorists posing as vacationers. Security officials said the suspects were carrying fake Egyptian passports. Egyptian police have beefed up security in areas popular with tourists, security officials said, and have posted the names, descriptions and passport numbers of the suspects at crossing points and police stations. On Wednesday, the counter-terror department in the Prime Minister's Office reissued a stern advisory against Israelis traveling to Sinai, and urged all those there to return home immediately. Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) head Yuval Diskin warned on Tuesday during his half-yearly review to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the Sinai Peninsula has become a 'Garden of Eden' for terrorists smuggling arms into the Gaza Strip.