Egypt forces working to prevent Iran attacks on Israeli targets, sources say (HAŽARETZ NEWS) By Avi Issacharoff 03/25/12)
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Egyptian security forces thwarted an attempt by Iran to blow up an
Israeli ship in the Suez Canal, the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram reported
The attack was being planned by two Egyptians who were recently
arrested and interrogated, the prosecution in Egypt´s state security
court reportedly claimed.
An investigation allegedly revealed that the men, Suleiman Razek
Abdul-Razek and Salameh Ahmed Salameh, had received their
instructions from Iranian agents. They reportedly asked a third
person, Mohammed Zakri, to carry out the attack in exchange for 50
million Egyptian pounds.
The two men denied any involvement.
Hezbollah terror cells in Egypt - including the Suez Canal - have
been found to be planning terror attacks in the past. Israeli
officials have recently warned that Iran is setting up terror
infrastructure on Egyptian soil to prepare for an operation.
Sources said yesterday they have no information to support the
Egyptian newspaper´s report. However, they attribute importance to
the very fact that the claim was published. Although a few months ago
Egypt allowed Iranian destroyers though the Gulf of Suez to the
Mediterranean - the ships docked at a Syrian port - it prohibited
Iranians from striking Israeli targets in its territory; Egypt also
threatened to prosecute anyone who was found to be attacking Israeli
targets in coordination with the Iranians, according to a report.
A high-ranking official in Jerusalem said last week that Iranian
military experts have been active in Sinai and the Gaza Strip.
"We can see signs that Iran is building a terror infrastructure
throughout Sinai," he said. The official added that although Israel
has responded to every Egyptian request to beef up its forces in
Sinai, no significant Egyptian operation has taken place in Sinai
since the Egyptian revolution last year.
Several terror groups are now at large in Sinai, the source claimed:
local Bedouin, who are adopting the ideology of the Global Jihad;
groups supported by Iran who are trying to recruit and train
militants not only in Sinai but throughout Egypt; and Palestinian
organizations. Joining them are Global Jihad militants from Iraq,
Afghanistan, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, the official said, adding that
Israel and Egypt share a common interest in combating these terrorist
elements. The official said the Iranians are urging and directing
Palestinians to carry out attacks, and that they have tried to
encourage Hamas to do so as well.
"It must be remembered that a host of Palestinian organizations are
using Sinai to carry out attacks," the official said, adding that
since ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi´s fall, Libya has become a
huge arms depot, where weapons are transferred to Egypt and then the
Iranian intelligence has been increasingly involved in events on
Israel´s southern border, both in Gaza and Sinai. Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu last week directly accused Iran for the escalation
on the Gaza border two weeks ago. (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 03/25/12)
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