Thursday, April 27, 2006

Bombings Are Possibly Related.

The Egyptian security forces say they are pursuing the possibility that the latest bombings in Dahab and the northern Sinai were the work of the same group which carried out previous attacks against the Red Sea resorts of Sharm El Sheikh and Taba.

Unnamed police sources have been quoted by the official Middle East News Agency as saying that all lines of inquiry were open, but that it was likely that the bombings were the work of the same group.
They named three fugitives, all Sinai natives, and said they were part of a local cell of Islamic militants hiding in the mountains of the region.
Despite the scale of the attacks against the three Sinai resorts, the Egyptian authorities have never said much about their investigations.
But some information started to surface in recent months with the start of the trial of four men who face charges in connection with the bombings in Taba in October 2004 which killed 34 people including foreign tourists.

Press reports earlier this month which quote court documents, said the bombers in Taba and Sharm El Sheikh were members of a militant group called Al Tawhid Wal Jihad established by a young dentist, Khaled Mosaed, in the town of Al Arish in the northern Sinai in 2002.
He is said to have succeeded in recruiting around 100 men whom he organised in separate cells often kept ignorant of each other in order to limit the damage should members fall into the hands of the security services.
The reports say Mr Mosaed was motivated by anger against the United States over what he regarded as its humiliating treatment of the Muslim world. He also considered Arab governments which fail to implement Islamic law and which are seen to collude with the US as legitimate targets.
So far, nothing has been made public suggesting that there were links between the Sinai militants and al-Qaeda, though it is clear they are at the very least inspired by the actions of Osama Bin Laden and his followers.
The men on trial for the Taba bombing include Younes Alyan Abu Greir who was arrested in September and whose confessions appear to have provided the authorities with their first major breakthrough almost a full year after the first attacks.
Mr Abu Greir was reportedly arrested in the Sinai, after police shot at him when he tried to evade a roadblock.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

El Adly, Will He be Removed?

In a report by Nabeel Sharaf Eldeen in Elaph, there are strong rumors widely circulating in Cairo that the Egyptian Interior Minister, Habeeb El Adly, is expected to be removed from his post following the last terror attacks in Sinai. In his place, a council would be made of senior security officials, and headed by Omar Soliman, the head of "Mukhabarat", the egyptian equivalent of FBI. This council will take the responsibility of dealing with terrorists following the repeated attacks that happened recently.

Twin suicide attacks in northern Sinai.

More terrorist attacks within two days of Dahab's explosions.

Twin suicide attacks targeting security personnel rocked northern Sinai near the Gaza Strip, two days after triple bombings killed at least 18 people in a resort further south.
A first suicide bomber blew himself up as vehicles carrying an Egyptian police officer and peacekeepers from Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) passed by, an interior ministry statement said.
The attacks took place near the MFO's base in Al-Gura, which lies some 25 kilometres (15 miles) west of the Gaza Strip.
"Two MFO vehicles were involved. They were probably five kilometres (three miles) away from Al-Gura. They were headed to Al-Gura from Rafah. The vehicles were damaged, but there were no casualties," MFO spokesman Ian Baxendell told AFP on Wednesday.
The second suicide bomber was on a bicycle when he tried to detonate his explosive charge against an Egyptian police vehicle that was rushing to the scene of the first attack, the interior ministry said.
"The suicide bomber died on the spot but the explosion did not cause any damage," the interior ministry added. The second explosion took place east of Al-Gura, near the Gaza Strip border town of Rafah.
Baxendell said an investigation was under way.
Two Canadian members of the force were wounded in August 2005 when a bomb exploded in Al-Gura as their vehicle passed, days after multiple bomb attacks in the Sinai resort of Sharm el-Sheikh left some 70 people dead.
A group calling itself "Egypt's mujahedeen," or holy warriors, later claimed responsibility for the attack, which officials said at the time was carried out with gas canisters.
The MFO is an independent peacekeeping force not related to the United Nations, created as a result of the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty and funded mainly by the two neighbours and the United States.
It currently has contingents from Australia, Canada, Colombia, France, Hungary, Italy, Fiji, New Zealand, Norway, the United States and Uruguay.
The fresh violence came as Egyptian investigators were questioning suspects arrested in connection with Dahab's deadly triple bombings.
Security sources said 30 suspects had been rounded up since the explosions rocked the resort on Monday as it was packed with foreign tourists and Egyptians enjoying a traditional spring holiday.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

It was"Like War".

A description of the scene of the explosions in Dahab.

A German doctor, Michael Hartlich, holidaying in Dahab, described how a 10-year-old boy died in his arms.

"It was like war," Mr Hartlich told the AFP news agency, still shocked and upset several hours after the blasts. "I'd never seen anything like it before, a child, a baby, blood everywhere, the smell of burnt skin, of burnt hair."
As investigations continued on Tuesday, dazed holidaymakers mingled with police and media near the scenes of the attacks.

Pools and trails of blood still stained a stretch of Dahab's seaside promenade, the Reuters news agency reported.

"I came outside and saw a person on fire and others with cuts on their head and arms. Some people had lost their fingers or their feet," Ahmed, an employee at a Chinese restaurant near the blast scene, told Reuters.
"The summer is just coming and there were lots of bookings but now it will be a disaster."

Monday, April 24, 2006

Conflicting Reports of The Number of Dead in Dahab

According to the web site of Elaph, there are conflicting reports on the number of victims in the Dahab explosions. The Egyptian Interioe Ministry claims that there are 10 dead, while some “Medical” sources state that the number of dead is more like 35, while the number of wounded is more than 200. Most of the victims are Egyptians, beside some other European nationals.

Security source said that the 3 explosions were located in the market area, Al Mashrabiya hotel, and the entrance to Dahab. An eye witness claims that the explosions happened within 5 minute of each other.

On the other hand, Mr. Shalom Cohen, the Israeli Ambasador in Cairo has said on the Israeli radio that he was informed by the Egyptian security forces that there are no Israeli victims among the dead.

Explosions Rock Dahab, Egypt.

Once again, an Egyptian resort is the target of multiple expolsions in a day when all Egyptians celebrate the feast of Spring.

Three explosions rocked the Egyptian resort city of Dahab at the height of the tourist season Monday, killing at least 18 people and wounding more than 150 at just one hotel, according to the doctor in charge of the Sinai peninsula rescue squad.
Police said the explosions hit the central part of the city where there are many shops, restaurants, bars and guesthouses. The blasts ripped through the town shortly after nightfall when the streets would have been jammed with tourists, mainly with Europeans, Israelis and expatriates living in Egypt.
Dr. Said Essa, who runs the rescue squad, said his casualty figures were for victims at the el-Khaleeg Hotel only. He said there were casualties from the other explosions.
A witness, Serge Loussararian, told CNN that an explosion took place in an area with restaurants and bars. "We heard the explosion and then we saw a big light. And a lot of people running," he said.
Terrorist attacks have killed nearly 100 people at several tourist resorts of Egypt's Sinai region in the past two years.
Bombings in the resorts of Taba and Ras Shitan, near the Israeli border, killed 34 people in October 2004. Last July, suicide attackers in the resort of Sharm el-Sheik killed at least 64 people, mainly tourists.
The Egyptian government has said the militants who carried out the bombings were locals without international connections, but other security agencies have said they suspect al-Qaida.
For years, Dahab was popular, low-key haven for young Western backpackers — including Israelis — drawn by prime scuba diving sites and cheap hotels, which mainly consisted of huts set up along the beach. In recent years, a number of more upscale hotels have been built, including a five-star Hilton resort.
Dahab is located on the Gulf of Aqaba on the eastern side of the Sinai Peninsula and is about 65 miles south of Taba, near the border at the southern tip of Israel.