Osama Bin Laden: Responsible?
Photo: Reuters

Is al-Qaeda behind attack?

Some security officials say al-Qaeda behind blasts; Israelis advised to avoid Egypt

Although no organization has yet taken responsibility for the terrorist attack in Dahab Monday evening, the bombings carry the hallmarks of an al-Qaeda attack and follow the exact same pattern of previous bombings in the area.


Egyptian security forces estimated shortly after the blasts that the terrorists belonged to local terror cells not linked to international terror organizations, but other security agencies claimed the trail led to al-Qaeda.


Only five days ago, Egyptian television suddenly stopped regular programming and announced in an urgent message from the Egyptian Interior Ministry that Islamic extremist terror activity was uncovered.


"Security forces recently arrested 22 people who were active in the secret organization called 'al-Taifa al-Mansur (The Victorious Sect). The terror activists were arrested in various neighborhoods in Cairo and south of the Egyptian capital," the message said.


The interior ministry said that "the accused planned to carry out terrorist operations against tourism sites, a strike against the natural gas pipeline around Cairo, and other sensitive sites through the placing of devices. They also examined the possibility of striking Muslim religious figures and Copts, as well as youths in entertainment districts. The heads of the organizations communicated with foreign elements in order to train activists abroad."


'Stay out of Egypt'


Counter-Terrorism Bureau Head Danny Arditi issued a warning to Israeli citizens just a few weeks ago to refrain from visiting any Arab country.


Speaking to Ynet, Arditi said: "The warnings in our hands lead to small organizations affiliated with al-Qaeda in one way or another. A month ago we issue a travel warning to Israelis against traveling to Egypt, including Sinai, following relatively reliable intelligence on intentions to carry out terror attacks against foreign and Israeli tourists."


"According to this report there were fear that a terror attack or an abduction of Israelis in Sinai could be carried out. We strongly advised Israeli citizens to avoid all visits in Sinai, and for Israelis staying in Sinai to leave immediately," Arditi said.  


He added: "I repeated the warning that Sinai is a dangerous place according to the information in our hands. Sinai is dangerous to tourists in general and to Israelis specifically. I call on everyone planning to travel to Sinai on Independence Day and in the near future not to do it and for Israelis in Sinai to return to Israel immediately."


Ronny Sofer and Roee Nahmias contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 04.24.06, 22:47
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