Egyptian authorities foil terror attack

2 Sudanese arrested on suspicion of planning attacks against government installations and tourist resorts in the Sinai.

Egyptian policeman 224.8 (photo credit: AP)
Egyptian policeman 224.8
(photo credit: AP)
Egyptian security forces arrested two Sudanese suspected of planning attacks against government installations and tourist resorts in the Sinai, police said. The suspects were driving in an explosives-laden Toyota pickup truck. Security forces were searching for a second truck wired with explosives. The search for the terror suspects began after urgent instructions from the Egyptian interior ministry to police offices across the Sinai Peninsula. The official added that the police, including reinforcements sent to the area, had set up ambushes, searched through main cities in the Sinai and recruited local Beduin tribesmen to help search for the suspects. Beduins are traditionally experts at navigating the desert and finding back ways to avoid checkpoints. The Sinai has been the site of three major bomb attacks since 2004. The blasts in the resorts of Sharm el-Sheik, Taba and Dahab killed 125 people. The government blamed the attacks on a local Islamic militant group, apparently inspired by al-Qaida ideology. Also on Friday, security forces found an under ground passage in the Herzallah village on the outskirts of Rafah, few kilometers (miles) south of the border with the Palestinian militant Hamas-controlled coastal strip. A group of men reportedly was spotted trying to sneak into Egypt but managed to escape back into Gaza, leaving behind a cache of thousands of US dollars and big boxes of cigarettes, the official said. About 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of hashish and heroin, packed up in sacks, was also found near the Israeli border, about 80 kilometers to the south of Rafah crossing. The border is a transit route for weapons, cigarettes and foreigners being smuggled across. Israel has repeatedly accused Egypt of not doing enough to stop weapons smuggling into Gaza, particularly through the tunnels. Cairo recently said it would make a greater effort to stop the smuggling.