Egyptian security forces on Saturday launched a manhunt for two men they believe are planning to launch terror attacks at Sinai tourist sites. Roadblocks and checkpoints have been set up on routes leading to Sinai and security forces are on the look out for a small truck that is believed to be carrying a large amount of explosives. The suspects are thought to have entered Egypt from its southern border with Sudan.
Groups affiliated with Al Qaida launched major bomb attacks on tourist areas in Sinai between 2004 and 2006. The terror attacks at the time occurred in Sharm el-Sheikh, Taba and Dahab and at least 125 people were killed including Israelis.
At the time, the Egyptian government blamed the attacks on local Islamic militant groups saying that Al Qaida activated sleeper cells in Egypt and had received cooperation from local Bedouin in Sinai who assisted the terrorists in evading roadblocks and checkpoints set up by Egyptian security forces. The three organizations that first claimed responsibility for the suicide bombings were the Al Jamaáh Islamiya al Alamiya (International Islamic Group), the Kataib al Tawhid al Islamiya (Unity of God Islamic Brigades) and the Abdullah Azzam Brigades.
Just days ago, Al Qaida’s number two leader Ayman al Zawahri called for attacks on Israeli, Jewish and American targets in revenge for the coalition forces operating in Iraq and in response to what he described as the holocaust being carried out by Israel against the Palestinians in Gaza.