debkafile Reports: Special operations units of Egypt intelligence corps beef up troops battling al Qaeda Sinai stronghold. Mubarak puts intelligenc
debkafile‘s military sources reveal that despite comprehensive sweeps with casualties on both sides since last week, Egyptian forces have not been able to capture al Qaeda hard core leaders. The main battle has been raging three days against the fortified terrorist stronghold on Jebel Magharah, 22km SW of El Arish and west of a former al Qaeda base on Jebel Hilal (alt. 654 meters). Signals passed among the troops describe the operation as the “Tora Bora of Sinai,” naming it after the fierce epic US-al Qaeda engagement in Afghanistan three years ago.
Egypt launched a large-scale clean-up operation against al Qaeda’s various Sinai bases last week after three bomb blasts killed at least 34 people at the Sinai resort of Dahab Tuesday. They are also reported to be raiding more new al Qaeda havens around St. Catherine’s monastery and Wadi Paran in the south.