Smuggling continues
Photo: AP
Security forces in Rafah area
Photo: AFP

Egyptians mulling death sentence for head of terror cell

Al-Hayat newspaper reports leader of Hizbullah organization in Egypt, Sami Shehab, to be charged with contacting a foreign agent, illegal possession of weapons. Maximal punishment: Execution. Meanwhile, Cairo continues deploying dozens of security officers along Philadelphi Route in bid to fight smuggling

The investigation against Sami Shehab, head of the Hizbullah terror cell in Egypt, is about to be completed and he may be executed if convicted, the London-based Arabic-language al-Hayat newspaper reported Sunday.


According to the report, Shehab will be charged with contacting a foreign agent and illegal possession of explosives.


The Egyptian law authorities are considering prosecuting him for violating clause 86 in the penal code, which bears the maximal punishment of execution.


A meeting held by Egypt's public prosecutor's office following the investigation, the report said, revealed that the Egyptians plan to accuse Shehab of "joining an illegal secret organization with the aim of carrying out a coup against the government, threaten public peace and violate the law, through terror."


The investigations launched against the other suspects in this affair are also about to be completed.


Fatah dispute: Cooperate with Hizbullah?

Meanwhile, Ynet has learned about a dispute in one of Fatah's armed groups in regards to the involvement of some of its members in the Hizbullah infrastructure in Egypt.


It turns out that the cell which was part of the organization and was comprised of Fatah members was operated by Kayes Ubeid, a former Israeli Arab and Fatah member who moved to Hizbullah, became the organization's operations officer and was behind the kidnapping of Israeli businessman Elhanan Tennenbaum.


Two days ago, the "Ayman Juda Brigades", one of the armed groups of Fatah's military wing, the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, announced that it was severing its ties and halting its cooperation with Hizbullah following the Lebanese organization's involvement in armed activity in Egypt.


According to a senior Fatah member in the Strip, the announcement stirred a row among the group, as it was released by members of its political wing and was unaccepted by members of its military wing, some of whom declared that they would continues cooperating with Hizbullah.


A group source confirmed that the members arrested in Sinai were operated by Kayes Ubeid, but rejected the claims that they had planned to carry out attacks on Egyptian soil.


"The cell was slated to execute terror attacks against Israeli targets and inside Israel, and not against Egypt," he said, adding that the attacks were meant to take place in the past few weeks but that the operation was delayed after the Israeli offensive in Gaza.


Tunnels destroyed

Egyptian newspaper al-Gomhuria also reported that the investigation against the Hizbullah organization is at its final stages and that its findings will be presented to Egypt's public prosecutor, Abdulmajeed Mahmoud.


Sources involved in the investigation said during the weekend that the Hizbullah network had planned to smuggle explosives and explosive belts using Israeli Arabs in order to carry out terror attacks inside Israel.


According to al-Gomhuria, Palestinian sources reported that the Egyptian security forces continue to deploy dozens of security officers along the Gaza-Egypt border, focusing on the Rafah area, in a bid to thwart the smuggling of arms into the Gaza Strip.


A security official said Saturday that Egyptian security forces had discovered five tunnels used to smuggle contraband to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. The tunnels were found north of the Egyptian border town of Rafah over the past few days and would be destroyed, he said.


"There were motorbikes, food and computer parts found in the tunnels," he said.


In addition to the deployment of forces along the Philadelphi Route, armored personnel carriers and other Egyptian military vehicles were also deployed. The Egyptians recently fortified the area along the borderline and are working intensively against the smuggling, focusing on an area opposite the Brazil neighborhood in southern Rafah.


Various sources have reported hearing a series of explosions along the border, particularly near the Brazil neighborhood. According to estimates, the blasts originated in the destroying of tunnels uncovered by the Egyptian forces. The same sources estimated that the Egyptians are also searching for infiltrators who have managed to cross into the country through the tunnels.


Ali Waked and AFP contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 04.19.09, 09:07
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