Additional cells operating in Sinai?
Photo: Reuters
Nasrallah may face arrest warrant
Photo: Reuters

Egyptian MPs calls for arrest warrant against Nasrallah

Security officials fear another terror cell may be operating in Sinai. Official source: Hizbullah chief's name will be included in indictment filed with Cairo court against arm smugglers due to his direct involvement in affair

Egyptian security sources suspect that another network of Palestinians is operating in the Sinai Peninsula and smuggling weapons into Gaza through the tunnels connecting Egypt and the Strip, the London-based Arabic-language al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper reported Sunday.


According to the report, residents of the city of Sheikh Zuwayed in Sinai are helping the Palestinian network and producing rockets in lathe-shop they built.


The suspects' interrogation revealed that they had purchased an entire apartment building in Cairo and several villas and stores in the Dahab, Nuweiba, Rafah and Suez areas – including a villa overlooking the canal, from which they had planned to target boars.


The Egyptians have been stepping up their battle in recent days against terror-aiding activities inside the country and in the Gaza Strip. Cairo officially reported that dozens of activists suspected of being affiliated with the Hizbullah organization have been arrested, and is now looking into suspicions that the operatives had planned to carry out terror attacks in the country.


Defense establishment officials estimate that the Hizbullah members were planning to carry out attacks against Israeli targets in Sinai as well.


Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah confirmed Friday that one of his organization's activists was involved in smuggling weapons into Gaza, but denied that his men were planning attacks on Egyptian soil.


According to an official Egyptian source, Nasrallah's speech provided proof of his direct involvement in operating the Hizbullah cell in Egypt, and therefore his name should be included in the indictment filed with the Cairo court.


Meanwhile, the al-Arabiya television news channel reported that Egyptian parliament members and legalists had called for an international arrest warrant against Nasrallah following the cell members' arrest and the Hizbullah leader's speech.


'Nasrallah an accessory'

An official source told Egyptian daily al-Ahram, "Nasrallah's declaration and his admission that he had guided the Hizbullah cell in Egypt puts him in the circle of defendants, due to the fact that he was the inciter and the man responsible for funding the cell. Nasrallah also admitted that he has agents cooperating with Hizbullah."


The source added that Nasrallah was an accessory, as he had infiltrated Egyptian territory and used it for act violating Egyptian law, through the cell uncovered and arrested by Egypt's security organization.


Another source noted that members of the Hizbullah cell in Egypt, led by Muhammad Sami Shihab, also knows as "Abu-Yusef", had operated in several of the country's districts, and not only near the Gaza Strip border.


According to the official, the cell members operated in the Said area and in the larger area of Cairo. This statement contradicts Nasrallah's claims in his Friday speech that the cell members only provided Hamas members in Gaza with logistic aid.


Egyptian security forces detained 15 people on Friday over accusations they helped make rockets destined to be smuggled into the Hamas-run Gaza Strip via border tunnels, security sources said.


The sources said authorities had confiscated the outer shells of 60 rockets from a metal workshop in the Sinai town of Sheikh Zuwayed, near the closed Rafah border crossing with Gaza.


Those held include the owner of the workshop and other workers and drivers who are accused of taking part in a scheme to manufacture rocket parts and send them to Hamas in Gaza.


On Saturday, Egyptian police shot and killed a Bedouin in north Sinai and seized munitions concealed in his truck believed to be destined for Gaza, a security official said.


Also Saturday, security sources said Egyptian police had detained a man they said was transporting $2 million to north Sinai to be smuggled into Gaza to Hamas. The man, Hassan Mohamed Hassouna, was detained in Cairo along with his driver and eight-year-old son around a week ago, the sources said.


Efrat Weiss, Reuters and AFP contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 04.12.09, 08:24
 new comment
This will delete your current comment