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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Egypt raids Sinai Islamists, 1 dead. Islamic Jihad member arrested

From Ma'an:
Egyptian troops and policemen battled with gunmen in the Sinai peninsula Monday, killing one person and arresting 16 others, a security official and state television said.

The fighting came as the security forces launched raids to hunt down Islamist militants suspected of attacking a gas pipeline to Israel on five occasions this year and police stations, the official said.

Around 1,000 soldiers and policemen forces deployed on Friday and Saturday in northern Sinai to carry out the operation dubbed "Eagle."

A man was killed at dawn Monday during an exchange of fire between suspects wanted by the Egyptian authorities and soldiers and policemen, the security official said.

"Ten people suspected of involvement in the Sinai attacks were arrested," the official said, adding that three automatic rifles and four grenades were also seized.

Egyptian state television earlier reported that security forces also arrested six suspected Islamists, members of a group calling itself the Army of the Liberation of Islam.

The operation came two days after Islamists distributed fliers in Rafah -- signed "Al-Qaeda in Sinai" -- threatening more attacks on police, according to a witness, after a deadly attack at the end of July, two weeks earlier, killed a military officer and three bystanders.
Palestine Press Agency gives details about those arrested - including one from Islamic Jihad in Gaza.

Yasser Atiyah Tarabin was born in Khan Younis and lives in Rafah. A member of Islamic Jihad, he was arrested and jailed in Egypt but escaped after the revolution. He was asked to join the Islamist cell "to fight the Jews;" then took him to the El Arish, where he met with other jihadis, received training in martial arts in the Sinai and the Gaza Strip, and he took part in the attack on the police station in El Arish a few days ago. He entered into Egypt through the tunnels, and planned to hit the security headquarters in northern Sinai. He also participated in the procurement of explosives and arms to target the military and the police.

This is not the first time that Gaza terrorists have been found to work with Islamist groups in the Sinai.

Interestingly, Islamic Jihad's mouthpiece Palestine Today is claiming that the Egyptian raid was against Mossad agents!