debkafile Exclusive: Two terrorist cells are on the prowl in Sinai for mega-attacks on Americans, Israelis and Egyptians
US units are on high alert; Israeli holidaymakers are advised to leave at once.
The smaller group of three Palestinian suicide killers penetrated the Egyptian territory from Gaza on the last day of August heading for a large-scale murder-cum-kidnap operation against Israelis.
The second is the largest al Qaeda terrorist team ever tasked in this part of the world for a string of major attacks on American and Egyptian military targets, tourist resorts and Israeli civilians. debkafile‘s counter-terror sources estimate the group as 70-strong with 5 commanders. Most unusually, all its members are Egyptians hailing from the port town of Alexandria.
This tip-off reached the United States and Israel from Egyptian security authorities which claimed to have captured and interrogated one of the five commanders. However, after long experience of information emanating from Egyptian sources, American and Israeli security tend to take this information with a large pinch of salt. They have reason to believe that rather than an al Qaeda commander, Egyptian searchers may have laid hands on an al Qaeda laptop computer with marked targets.
According to debkafile‘s sources, the Egyptians were led to believe that the al Qaeda team was raised in Alexandria to fight Americans forces in Iraq. It departed on July 26 and reached Sinai two days later armed with forged Egyptian passports made out in false identities.
But they were never meant to reach Iraq; their missions were in Sinai. On arrival, the al Qaeda group split up into small groups, one of which picked up weapons and explosives form a local cache. Their orders are to strike the two American brigades stationed in Sinai – one at the Multinational Force based at Gora near El Arish in the north, the other at Sharm e-Sheikh. They will also try and hit the US warships and naval units docked in the bay.
All three US units are on high alert for al Qaeda attacks.
Israeli tourists, although urgently warned to leave Sinai without delay are still heading for their favorite haunts at the desert resorts at the rate of 1,000 a day.