A senior Egyptian security official says police have arrested the leader of al-Qaeda-inspired group in the Sinai peninsula that was behind attacks on police and on a gas pipeline that transports fuel to Israel and Jordan.
The pipeline in the desert peninsula of Sinai was attacked on Thursday for the seventh time this year.
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The official said Mohammed Eid Muslih Hamad, also known as "El-Tihi" of the armed Islamist group Al-Takfir Wa Al-Hijra (Excommunication and Exodus) was arrested without resistance early Sunday in a seaside vacation house in the northern Sinai town of el-Arish.
Egyptian army post in Sinai (Photo: EPA)
Authorities see him as the mastermind behind attacks on police stations in the city and he has topped a government "wanted" list, MENA said. It did not say if Teehi was involved in Thursday's bombing.
Some residents of al-Arish confirmed that Tihi belongs to a "well-known religious current" but said he cannot move because of a car accident which fractured his pelvis, MENA added.
El-Tihi was also being investigated in connection to an August series of attacks into southern Israel, the official said on condition of anonymity in line with his orders.
The group, taking advantage of the power vacuum in the mountainous peninsula after toppling Hosni Mubarak's regime in February, launched a campaign under the name of al-Qaeda in Sinai calling for the establishment of an Islamic emirate.
AP and Reuters contributed to this report
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