Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Al-Qaeda in Sinai?

According to the Jerusalem Post, Israeli security officials believe that the Sinai Peninsula has become an al-Qaeda hotbed:
"But Monday's bombings did not come as a surprise to the defense establishment, which months ago issued an advisory against traveling to Egypt and particularly Sinai. Military Intelligence believes Sinai has turned into an al-Qaida hotbed whose cells were behind all of the latest Sinai terror attacks, including the bombings in Sharm e-Sheikh last July and in Taba in 2004, which together killed over 100 people.

"Although Egypt has sent special forces into the Sinai hills of Jabal Halal to weed out the terror cells, Monday's attack, security officials said, proved that their efforts were not as effective as they may have thought.

"Evaluations note that the cells operating in the Sinai are composed of local Egyptian Beduin who are easily recruited into al-Qaida due to their disdain of President Hosni Mubarak's regime. It is also thought that the explosives used by the cells are no longer coming from old mines and tank shells left behind by Egyptian-Israeli wars, but are being smuggled into the Sinai from Egypt's neighbors, possibly even Saudi Arabia."


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