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October 3, 2005

Debka - 'Al Qaeda in Sinai Has Advanced to Striking Range of the Suez Canal, Israel and Jordan'

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives


Looking at Debka's above map, you can't help but wonder why Al-Qaeda was allowed to become so stratigically entrenched. This 'revelation' comes at a time when Israel is questioning the effectiveness of the agreement Israel and Egypt signed regarding the deployment of 750 Egyptian border guards along the Philadelphi route in an effort to prevent arms-smuggling into Gaza - and along with it, heavy Al-Qaeda infiltration. Do "dots between the stories" connect to a question as to Egypt's committment to stopping Al-Qaeda and the spread of Islamoterrorism?

DEBKAfile's intelligence sources report some startling and dangerous developments.

(...) Al Qaeda has established local terror networks in northern Sinai - centering on el Arish, as well as strongholds in the inaccessible central mountains of the peninsula around Jebel Hillal. In all, the jihadists control roughly one-fifth of Sinai total area (61,000sq. km or 23,500sq. miles). Egyptian forces of law and order have learned not to venture into these bastions or into the areas commanded by age-old smuggler clans who currently collaborate with al Qaeda. This leaves about half of the forbidding desert peninsula inaccessible to Egyptian security forces. Today, they can only claim to control the main roads routes fringing the vast desert expanse: from Ras Sudeir down to Sharm el Sheikh along the Suez Canal and Suez Gulf shores; from the Suez Canal east to El Arish along the Mediterranean shore and from the Sharm el-Sheikh resort center north along the Gulf of Aqaba to Taba and the Israeli port of Eilat.

(...) DEBKAfile's counter-terror sources describe al Qaeda's Sinai 2005 bastion as better fortified than the original Tora Bora. It is peopled with more fighters and is even more impregnable. The paths leading up to peaks - some as tall as 7,500 ft - are barricaded by huge rocks under which explosive snares are concealed. Attempts to move the rocks would set off explosions and start an avalanche. Interspersed among the natural barriers are bomb traps and anti-personnel and anti-tank mines. The caves perforating the slopes are firing positions - some armed with mortars and heavy machine guns.


As discussed in Debka's article - "The DEBKAfile Exclusive Map illustrates the broad strategic thinking behind al Qaeda's Sinai deployment. It is not just there to nab Israeli vacationers refusing to heed warnings; its terrorist units are within striking distance of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Gulf of Aqaba, the Suez Canal and the Egyptian heartland, as well providing terrorist depth for wars in Iraq and Israel."

Hello Washington, is anybody home?

Posted by Richard at October 3, 2005 9:54 AM

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