Egyptiske medier er opptatt av de sju arresterte terrormistenkte som hadde fått trening i Gaza. De planla terror mot oljeledninger i Sinai, og mål i Frankrike. Egypt ser for seg en ny ondskapens akse: Iran, Hizbollah, Hamas og Al Qaida. De føler at Egypt er spesielt utsatt.
Mønsteret man skal se opp for er politisk-religiøs borgerkrig. I Somalia har sufiene gått til krig mot Al Shaabab-militsen. I Irak utløste Al Qaida til slutt en rekyl fra sunnier. Den internasjonale jihadismen fremprovoserer reaksjoner i landene den opererer i. Noe lignende er i ferd med å skje i Egypt, og det var medvirkende til at Egypt ikke åpnet grensen til Gaza under Israels invasjon.
On May 24, 2009, Egyptian security forces announced that they had arrested seven members of a terror cell(1) which, according to the confession of one of its members, had carried out the February 22, 2009 attack in Khan Al-Khalili. According to the announcement, the cell had ties to Al-Qaeda and to the Gaza salafi group Jaysh Al-Islam.(2)
One of the captured terrorists, a Belgian national, confessed that he was supposed to travel to Belgium, make contact with Al-Qaeda operatives, and accompany them to France in order to prepare attacks there. The cell was also supposed to conduct attacks against oil pipelines and tourist resorts in the Sinai.(3)
Following this incident, the editor of the Egyptian government daily Al-Masaa , Khaled Imam, published an article titled «What Next? A Quadruple Axis of Evil,»(4) in which he elaborated on the captured cell’s connection to Iran, Hizbullah, and extremist elements in the Palestinian resistance. Imam contended that a new quadruple axis of evil had emerged and that its sole aim was to harm Egypt.
A month earlier, in April 2009, following the capture of a Hizbullah cell,(5) Egypt had accused Iran, Qatar, Syria, Hizbullah, Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood of conspiring against it – and now, in his article, Imam included Al-Qaeda in the plot as well.
Following are excerpts from Imam’s article:
Our Officers Established the Connection between the Cell Captured in Egypt, and Al-Qaeda and the Palestinian Jaysh Al-Islam
«The capture of the terrorist cell associated with the explosions in a square near the Al-Hussein mosque [in Cairo] last February brought to light two new matters of utmost importance. The first is that this cell was discovered through the Internet; the second is that Al-Qaeda had for the first time carried out an operation inside Egypt.
«The method by which this cell was uncovered confirms that our officers have moved beyond tracking individuals through personal surveillance, following them at a distance, and collecting evidence which may or may not be correct. Rather, they now rely on modern science for penetrating cells and for monitoring sources of financing and training sites.
«In this error-proof scientific way… they were able to establish, with the greatest accuracy, this cell’s connection to Al-Qaeda and the Palestinian Jaysh Al-Islam organization. They were able to capture several members of this cell and to seize their terrorist equipment before they could perpetrate a crime in France or [attack] oil pipelines and tourist resorts in Sinai.
«[The evidence] obtained by our officers via the Internet cannot be questioned. This evidence is incontestable, and the accused have no way of denying it. Consequently, they will have to acknowledge that they received instructions to attack the places that were attacked, that they were trained in Gaza, and that they infiltrated Egypt by way of the tunnels.»
Egypt May Be the Only Target of the New Axis of Evil
«The fact that Al-Qaeda has entered the fray indisputably confirms the strong connections between this terrorist organization and Iran, Hizbullah, and extremists within the Palestinian resistance. This is a quadruple axis of evil, whose four components were melded together in a single crucible. It’s impossible now to tell which of them is hoisting the banner of international terrorism, which is bandying the slogans of Islam and instigating hate towards Israel, and which is extolling resistance in Lebanon or Gaza. The four have become one.
The target, too, has become one – namely Egypt, its land, its people, its history, its civilization, its economy, [and] its past, present, and future. Egypt – this gate of steadfastness, this bulwark against Iranian ambitions – is unfortunately the main, if not the only, target, and not Israel, as they claim.
«This filthy, stinking, motley crew harbors evil intentions against Egypt, which is protected by the Lord, as well as by our outstanding armed and police forces… whose members are willing to sacrifice their lives for the sake of Egypt’s security. We have the right to be proud of them and of our Egyptian identity, and to defend our national security in every way, both traditional and modern.»
(1) According to the Egyptian authorities, the captured members of the cell included two Palestinians, a Belgian national of Tunisian extraction, a British national of Egyptian extraction, a French woman of Albanian extraction, and two Egyptians. Some of the suspected terrorists had crossed from Sinai to Gaza by way of the tunnels to receive training in explosives.
(2) Al-Hayat (London), May 24, 2009.
(3) See MEMRI, «Egypt: We Cracked Terror Cell that Planned to Attack France; Ties to Al-Qaeda and Gazan Salafis; Responsible for February 2009 Attack,» May 24, 2009, http://www.memrijttm.org/content/en/blog_personal.htm?id=1172¶m=APT.
(4) Al-Masaa (Egypt), May 25, 2009.
(5) See MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis series No. 512, «Egypt: The Hizbullah Cell in Egypt – A Joint Conspiracy by Iran, Syria, Qatar, Hizbullah, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood» by: Y. Yehoshua, April 27, 2009, http://www.memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=countries&area=egypt&ID=IA51209.