Head of Egyptian intelligence Morad Mowafi admitted that the Arab country had received intelligence warnings prior to Sunday's terror attack in Sinai, which left 16 Egyptian border guards dead.
Speaking to Turkish news agency Anadulo following a meeting with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo on Tuesday, Mowafi said, "This incident should never raise any questions regarding the efficiency of the security forces in Sinai and their alertness."
- Egypt sends helicopter gunships to Sinai
- Egypt buries soldiers slain in border attack
- Op-ed: Jihadists' goal: Israel-Egypt war
He said Egypt also had information regarding the "terrorist group" that committed the attack.
"Yes, we had detailed information about the attack, but we never imagined that a Muslim would kill a Muslim on the hour of breaking the fast in Ramadan," Egypt's intelligence chief told the news agency.
Barak (L) and PM Netanyahu near vehicle destroyed by IDF (Photo: Eliad Levy)
Egypt's President Morsi in Sinai after attack (Photo: AFP)
During Sunday's attack, the armed terrorists from Sinai breached Israel's border in an armored personnel carrier they seized during a raid on an Egyptian border checkpoint as the border guards broke their daily fast for the holy month of Ramadan with a sunset meal.
Israel immediately detected the infiltration, and IDF tanks and aircraft destroyed the armored vehicle and killed the terrorists.
The incident underscored the fragile situation in Sinai. Egypt's control over the area has significantly weakened since the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak during last year's revolution.
Israel and Egypt estimate that the attack was carried by terrorists from global jihad, who are receiving assistance from local Bedouins in exchange for money.
Military officials told the Palestinian Ma'an news agency that between 1,500 and 2,000 terrorists are currently based in the Sinai Peninsula. The terrorists belong to various radical organizations, including Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and groups which are based in Gaza. These terrorists have received training in the use of RPGs and anti-aircraft missiles, the officials said.