Isn’t that frustrating? We heard that the Egyptian revolution and the removal of Mubarak was a great thing, and everyone welcomed the “Arabian Spring” … I never bought it and I have been traumatized to the idea the Muslim Brotherhood, that the Obama administration defined peaceful, might radicalized the region. I was also afraid, like many others, that the revolution would have dangerously broken the equilibrium in the area and threatened Israel.
Below I am publishing two articles, one by The Daily News Egypt and one by Reuters, giving you their full links as well. I do not know anything about the Daily News Egypt, but Reuters is well knows news agency. Why nobody else bothers to bring this kind of news to our homes? The news has also been reported by Swissinfo.ch, from where I researched further. Here it is, for your information.
From Reuters at http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/news/international/Egypts_Sinai_security_forces_say_plan_crackdown.html?cid=30899784
Egypt’s Sinai security forces say plan crackdown
ISMAILIA, Egypt (Reuters) – Security forces in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula say they are launching an operation to control those behind a series of attacks in the northern town of el-Arish and stations that export gas to Israel.
Witnesses in el-Arish said they saw armoured vehicles, tanks and armed security personnel arriving in Sinai Friday. Some said there were increased security measures on the Suez Canal. Authorities said there was no disruption to canal traffic.
“Troops have arrived to support the implementation of random raids to arrest suspects involved in the recent police station attack … as well as the perpetrators of bombing operations and outlaws,” said a security source.
The source said the raids, named “Operation Eagle,” were imminent and would involve large formations of armed and military forces, without giving numbers.
Attacks on Egypt’s energy infrastructure have escalated since President Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow in February. The main target has been the North Sinai pipeline, which also supplies Jordan.
There were five recent attacks on Sinai’s gas-exporting points to Israel, the latest on July 30. Egyptian authorities have blamed unidentified “saboteurs” and “armed gangs.”
In July, security sources said about 100 armed men, who rode through el-Arish in cars and motorcycles waving flags with Islamic slogans, attacked a police station and engaged in a shootout with policemen and soldiers.
Six people were killed. The official state news agency MENA cited a security official as saying Egyptians and Palestinians were among 12 suspects arrested.
The Gaza Strip, ruled by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, borders Sinai to the north.
(Reported by Yusri Mohamed, Written by Sarah Mikhail)
And from: The Daily News Egypt. com at http://www.thedailynewsegypt.com/egypt/egypt-troops-deploy-for-sinai-raids-officials.html
Egypt troops deploy for Sinai raids: officials
|CAIRO: Egyptian troops moved into a town on the Gaza border on Saturday for an anticipated operation against militants who attacked a gas pipeline to Israel and police stations, security officials said.The officials said tanks and more than 1,000 soldiers and policemen, deployed on Friday and Saturday, would try to restore order to a lawless section in the north of the Sinai peninsula, and then move southwards to a mountainous region where armed outlaws were hiding.Witnesses said several armored vehicles moved into Rafah and tanks were stationed in Al-Arish, 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Gaza Strip, where Islamist militants attacked a police station two weeks earlier, killing a military officer and three bystanders.
The operation came two days after Islamists distributed flyers in Rafah threatening more attacks on police, an AFP witness said. The flyers were signed “Al-Qaeda in Sinai.”
A senior military official has denied the militant group has a branch in Egypt, but the government has blamed its affiliates in the past for attacks in the country.
“The forces that have arrived will participate in several surprise raids to arrest wanted men and those who participated in the attack (on the police station)” one security official said.
They were also seeking militants behind five bombing attacks this year on a pipeline that exports gas to Israel.
The operation will start in Al-Arish, and then roll into the neighboring Sheikh Zuweid, where authorities believe Islamist militants are hiding out, and the Rafah border town, the officials said.
An interior ministry official said four armored vehicles had already moved into Sheikh Zuweid, roughly 15 kilometers from the Gaza border.
Witnesses told AFP tanks were also taking positions in the town and police were deploying for the first time since January, when the interior ministry largely collapsed amid a revolt that ousted president Hosni Mubarak.
A police commander in Sheikh Zuweid told AFP the security forces would try to capture militants implicated in the attack on the police station in Al-Arish.
The militants are believed to belong to an extremist group that wants an Islamist state in Egypt.
After combing the north, the operation, codenamed “Eagle,” would then extend to mountainous central Sinai, long a safe haven for Bedouin outlaws, officials said.
“These reinforcements have been sent to aid forces already stationed, to restore security, arrest those behind the Al-Arish attacks and capture outlaws in the mountains,” a senior security official told AFP.
He refused to say how they intended to storm the formidable mountain hideouts. “This is a plan put together in coordination with the military and it will succeed,” he added.
The officials declined to give a precise number for the troops involved. A 1979 peace agreement with neighboring Israel limits the number of Egyptian soldiers allowed in the peninsula.
The governor of North Sinai, Abdel Wahab Mabruk, denied the increased forces would carry out raids. “They are here for protection, and to repel any further attacks,” he told AFP.
But he said the security forces would not try to comb the area. “This is not a war.”
However, the security officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity if the issue, said the raids were imminent.
Sinai, home to some of Egypt’s most lucrative tourist resorts, also has a largely marginalized and poor Bedouin population with a history of tensions with the Cairo government.
Islamist Bedouin militants were blamed for a series of massive explosions in tourist resorts between 2004 and 2006 that killed dozens of Egyptians and foreigners.
Some of the militants arrested after those attacks fled prison during the January revolt when police abandoned their posts.