Egyptian manhunt for Iranian agent behind terror attacks on Westerners

Based on Egyptian intelligence findings, president Hosni Mubarak’s aides advised visiting US secretary of state Hillary Clinton last week that an Iranian agent is behind recent attacks on foreign tourists in Cairo, debkafile‘s exclusive sources report.
They are hunting an Iranian agent whom they believe set up a terrorist network for these attacks. On Feb. 23, two bomb blasts in Cairo’s central Khalil al Khan market killed a French teen-ager and injured 23, mostly tourists. Then, on March 1, a teacher from the American school in Alexandria was stabbed and suffered minor injuries at the same place.
Before leaving Sharm e-Sheikh March 3, Clinton said she had been surprised by the level of concern about Iran in her talks with Middle East leaders.
debkafile‘s counter-terror sources add that a news blackout was imposed on a third terrorist attack which occurred in mid-February.
According to classified reports, Egyptian security authorities suspect that all three assaults were the work of a network set up by an officer of al Qods Brigades, Iran’s external terrorist arm, who arrived in Cairo under cover at the beginning of this year. They are not sure if the network is based on Iranian terrorists or local recruits.
US and Middle East intelligence circles find it hard to credit Cairo’s suspicions; an Iranian terrorist team at large in Cairo would represent a grave deterioration in Tehran-Cairo relations. It would also reflect on Iran’s relations with the nations whose citizens were targeted – France, Germany and Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, the Egyptian security authorities may be groping in the dark, in which case more attacks may follow until they crack the case.

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