Photo: Ata Awisaht
Israeli Ambassador to Egypt Moshe Cohen
Photo: Ata Awisaht

Report: Cell plotted to kill Israel's ambassador to Egypt

Egyptian newspaper reports al-Zeitoun cell planned to assassinate Shalom Cohen, bomb his home, Israeli embassy in Cairo last year. Three suspects arrested; say plan failed due to tight security

A plot to assassinate Shalom Cohen, Israel's ambassador to Egypt was uncovered, Egyptian newspaper al-Masry al-Youm reported on Saturday.


According to the report, operatives of the al-Zeitoun cell admitted to having plotted to kill the ambassador, bomb his home and the embassy in Cairo last year.


The Egyptian State Security Prosecution announced that in addition to surveillance members of the cell conducted on Cohen and the embassy, the suspects were also allegedly involved in other acts against police and state bodies, including attempts on officials' lives by taking over their weapons.


Three of the suspects, Yasser Abdel-Kader Abdel-Fateh, Faraj Rajwan al-Ma'ani and Ahmad al-Sayyed al-Shaarawi, said in their investigation that the plans to assassinate Cohen and bomb the Israeli embassy in Cairo were meant to be executed last year.


They said they managed to follow Cohen on a number of occasions and planned to carry out the assassination either by an explosive device or direct confrontation.


According to the report, the plot failed due to the tight security around Cohen's home and the Israeli embassy.


The suspects also admitted that the plot to kill the Israeli ambassador and blow up the embassy were planned as part of larger Jihad operations the cell planned to execute.


They said that if the operation had been carried out as planned, it would have boosted the Jihad both in Egypt and abroad.


They also admitted to scoping out tourist sites in the Sinai Peninsula. They said they were in contact with members of the al-Qaeda organization, and in particular with a man who goes by the name of Abu Hamdan al-Libi, and discussed with him the details of the execution of the attacks before leaving to Iraq to join his men.


Meanwhile, Egyptian state paper al-Ahram reported that the cell caught was the same cell that carried out an attack in a Cairo market last February.


According to the report, the cell planned to bomb other religious sites in Egypt including Muslim and Christian holy places as well as tourist sites. They also planned to bomb the gas pipe line between Egypt and Israel.


Al-Ahram said the suspects confessed to their membership in the cell and said they trained in camps belonging to the "Palestinian Army of Islam in the Gaza Strip" and that they helped smuggle activists across the border to carry out their attacks.


פרסום ראשון: 08.08.09, 21:16
 new comment
This will delete your current comment