Defense officials told Ynet Monday that the Shin Bet and Military Intelligence collaboration and intelligence gathering tactics have proven effective in thwarting a potentially devastating terror attack Sunday.
A GOC Southern Command inquest into the events of Sunday night derived that the IDF had intelligence indicating an imminent threat of terror from the sector, including a Shin Bet alert suggesting that Sinai terror groups were planning a combined attack against Israeli and Egyptian forces.
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The information prompted increased IDF deployment near some of the more vulnerable points of the Sinai border, and allowed the military to prevent the terrorists' armored vehicle – taken from Egyptian patrolmen after killing 16 men – and a truck carrying half a ton of explosives, from reaching their destination – Israel's Gaza vicinity communities.
The area along which the terror attack took place – from the Rafah crossing up to Gate 380 near the Kerem Shalom crossing – was considered "intelligence assets poor" until about six months ago.
MI sources said that over the past year several terror cells have been identified in Sinai, some comprised of young Bedouins who defy the sheiks and act as hired guns or are motivated by their own radical views.
Several indicators support the theory that militants forming a virtual "terror state" in Sinai have been able to outwit Gaza's bigger terror groups and carry out massive attacks.
Another angle explored by Israeli intelligence is that Sunday's attack marks another direct hit at the heart of Cairo's new regime.
Defense sources told Ynet that it is likely that Iran or Hezbollah were not part of this attack.
Still, MI sources added that the number of threats from the sector is growing, at times exceeding the threats coming from Gaza.
Earlier Monday, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood said on its website that the attack "can be attributed to Mossad" and that it was a ploy meant to upset Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's new regime.
Israel dismissed the claim as "ridiculous."
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