Monday, February 1, 2010

Egypt reports arrest of jihadists

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt has arrested 26 suspects who the prosecutor said belonged to a cell of militant group Islamic Jihad and were plotting "terrorist acts" against tourists and state installations, the official news agency MENA reported on Sunday.The suspects, arrested in the provinces of Mansoura and Dakahiliya on the Nile Delta, had firearms, ammunition and explosives, the agency said. "The public prosecutor ordered them placed in precautionary detention for 15 days pending investigations," MENA wrote, adding that the prosecutor had sent the arms and explosives for forensic investigations.Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) emerged in the 1970s and carried out the 1981 assassination of President Anwar Sadat. Security analysts say it has been largely absorbed into al Qaeda, in which former EIJ leader Ayman al-Zawahri is deputy to Osama bin Laden.
Egypt is concerned about the possibility that al Qaeda-inspired militants could infiltrate the country after being forced out of the neighboring Palestinian enclave of Gaza by Islamist group Hamas, analysts told a conference last week.
Ha´aretz claimed that the group among other things planned an attack on the tomb of rabbi Jaacov Abuhatzeira in the Egyptian Delta, apparently at the date of his ´moulid´ (birthday festivity) as hundeds of Jews of Moroccan descent come to Egypt, many of them from Israel. Abuhatzeira was a kind of a saint in Morocco. 

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