DEBKAfile Special Report September 16, 2012, 6:04 PM (GMT+02:00)
Al Qaeda-led Salafi Bedouin bands Sunday, Sept. 16, expanded their Sinai offensive to three Egyptian bases along a 70-kilometer front three days after they overran the US-led Multinational Force base in northern Sinai. Heavily-armed Islamist gunmen struck Egyptian bases at El Arish, Rafah opposite the Israeli border and Sheikh Zuweid, where they used local schoolchildren as human shields and shot down an Egyptian helicopter. Egypt has imposed a blackout on all three episodes. Hundreds of US MFO officers remain trapped in their Sinai base.
DEBKAfile Special Report September 14, 2012, 9:45 PM (GMT+02:00)
First reports of at least 4 peacekeepers hurt when scores of Salafi Bedouin linked to al Qaeda stormed the Multinational Force’s camp in northern Sinai with grenades, mortars and automatic guns Friday, Sept. 14. The 1,500 mostly US troops are posted in Sinai to monitor the Egyptian-Israeli 1979 peace accords. This was the second al-Qaeda-instigated assault on a primarily American target in the Middle East in four days after the murder of four US diplomats in Benghazi Tuesday. The incident is still ongoing…
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 27, 2012, 10:20 PM (GMT+02:00)
Al Qaeda missiles struck Kibbutz Kholit opposite the Egyptian-Gazan-Israeli border junction and an IDF post in the Kissufim district Monday, Aug. 28, debkafile reveals, in line with the terrorists' tactic of holding Israel hostage as a lever for bending Cairo to their will. The IDF communiqué omitted to mention those attacks - only the Qassam rocket targeting Sderot that morning. Al Qaeda’s affiliates timed their strikes for derailing talks the Egyptian defense minister and army chief held Monday with Sinai Bedouin chiefs.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 10, 2012, 12:47 AM (GMT+02:00)
Bands of young Sinai Bedouin have turned their backs on tribal affiliations in and formed lawless bands of jihadis which are highly vulnerably to Iranian and radical Palestinian penetration. Those bands carried out the twin attack on Egyptian and Israel military targets last Sunday.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 8, 2012, 8:56 PM (GMT+02:00)
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, in conjunction with military chief Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi, fired a row of top military, intelligence and police officials Wednesday, Aug. 8, after more armed Islamist attacks on Egyptian troops. Morsi replaced Intelligence chief Gen. Mourad Mowafi with Maj. Gen. Mohamed Shehata, and fired the governor of North Sinai, Abdel Wahab Mabrouk, as well as other officials. The president acted expeditiously to quell street protest over declining Sinai security but is not yet grappling with its root cause, Islamist terror.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 10, 2011, 2:01 PM (GMT+02:00)
Israel's targeted killing Thursday Dec. 8 of Ismail Batash, commander of the "Army of Believers" (a Hamas terrorist front group), may have done more harm than good. Aside from triggering a hail of Palestinian missiles against Israel, debkafile's sources report it strengthened the Hamas-Salafist Bedouin pact in northern Sinai and is speeding up the transfer there of Hamas' terrorist infrastructure from Gaza – out of Israel's reach. The terrorist peril to southern Israel, including Eilat, has mounted, while the IDF's hands are tied.
DEBKAfile Special Report October 10, 2011, 9:09 PM (GMT+02:00)
The claim Friday by Field Marshall Mohamed Tantawi, head of the military junta ruling Egypt, of "complete security on the Sinai Peninsula" was belied Monday, Oct. 10, by the Israeli Counterterrorism Bureau's warning against travel to Sinai for Sukkot. As Cairo lets Sinai security go by the board, the Netanyahu government leans over backwards to pretend business with Egypt is back to normal – even after armed Bedouin cut the trade route between Egypt and Israel through Sinai three weeks ago.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 2, 2011, 12:22 AM (GMT+02:00)
All ten presidential contenders in Egypt are plugging an anti-Israel line and promising to annul the peace treaty with Israel – even though the military rulers show no sign of setting dates for presidential and parliamentary elections. Israel remains silent as Cairo tears up the peace treaty piece by ...
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 27, 2011, 1:45 PM (GMT+02:00)
The Egyptian army is negotiating deals with 13 Bedouin tribal chiefs for setting up militias to secure their territories in Sinai and the Israeli border region against raiders, terrorists and smugglers. On offer are new weapons, training and monthly paychecks for undertaking this task. The Sawarka and Tiyaha tribal chiefs have accepted. Sinai's Bedouin population of approximately 100,000 might produce a fighting force of 8,000-10,000, debkafile's military sources estimate, but their loyalties tend to be changeable.
DEBKAfile Special Report August 18, 2011, 4:47 PM (GMT+02:00)
Israel goes on highest terror alert after a string of terrorist attacks still ongoing near the Israeli-Egyptian border north of Eilat Thursday, Aug. 18 left seven Israeli soldiers and civilians dead and 33 injured. Five servicemen are in critical condition. Assailants from Sinai used automatic and anti-tank weapons, mortars and roadside bombs for attacks on two buses and civilian and military vehicles on Highway 12. All three gunmen who attacked the bus were located and killed in a firefight with Israeli police. More are sought.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 11, 2011, 10:06 AM (GMT+02:00)
Hamas complains about the Israeli and Egyptian blockades. However, four days ago, the Gaza Strip's Palestinian rulers began building fortifications to block its western boundary with Egyptian Sinai, debkafile reports. They are concerned by the spillover of post-revolutionary chaos from Egypt and Sinai and the new influx of fighters and smugglers from Libya and al Qaeda-linked Sinai Bedouin, both of which have gone into the smuggling tunnel business on their own account and are causing mayhem.
DEBKAfile Special Report July 4, 2011, 8:40 AM (GMT+02:00)
The pipeline carrying Egyptian natural gas to Israel and Jordan via Sinai was blown up early Monday, July 4, for the third time in six months. All three attacks were carried out according to debkafile's military sources, by a special Hamas pipeline sabotage unit working with al Qaeda-allied Bedouin smugglers.This time, the Hamas retaliated for the stoppage of the international flotilla before it could set out to break the Israeli naval blockade on the Gaza Strip.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 29, 2010, 3:10 PM (GMT+02:00)
For four days, Egyptian special forces have been fighting Bedouin tribesmen in rugged central Sinai in an effort to shut down the arms-cum-fighter smuggling highway they run for al Qaeda and the Palestinian Hamas, debkafile's counter-terror sources report. The al Qaeda-led tribesmen are battling Egyptian APCs, artillery and helicopters with heavy machine guns and RPGs, in exchanges so fierce that the Egyptians retired to El Arish Saturday, May 29, to recuperate, restock on ammo and collected reinforcements for the next round.