Plot to attack tourist sites in Sinai reportedly thwarted

Egyptian security forces have reportedly foiled a jihadist plot to attack resorts in the Sinai Peninsula. According to Al-Hayat, five jihadists were arrested near the border with Gaza on Friday in possession of automatic weapons and RPGs.

The attacks were believed to have been planned for resorts near Sharm el-Sheikh and Dahab. On Sunday, gunmen attacked the checkpoint outside Dahab as well as “local government headquarters and a hospital,” according to Ma’an News Agency.

Since the deaths of Abu al Walid al Maqdisi and Ashraf al Sabah, former leaders of the Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem, Egyptian and Israeli authorities have raised the alert level in and around the Sinai. On Oct. 25, Asharq al-Awsat reported that Egyptian authorities were investigating claims that jihadists were planning attacks against Sinai resorts.

Since the beginning of the so-called Arab Spring, a number of Salafi jihadist groups linked to al Qaeda have sprouted up in the Egyptian Sinai. The terror groups have conducted attacks against Israel, international peacekeepers in the Sinai, Egyptian forces, and a pipeline transporting natural gas to Israel and Jordan.

Israeli intelligence believes that most of the attacks originating in the Sinai have been carried out by Ansar Jerusalem, also known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis. Ansar Jerusalem threatened to carry out attacks in response to the killing of al Maqdisi and al Sabah.

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