12 November 2010
The Israeli government has issued a travel warning for Israeli citizens traveling in the Sinai and urged them to return home immediately. The warning by the Prime Minister's Office said "reliable and current intelligence" about a kidnapping plot existed, and it called on "all Israelis in Sinai to leave immediately." Israel's Counterterrorism Bureau (CTB) also sharpened its advisory advising against travel to the Sinai peninsula, which is part of Egypt. According to the CTB, Israeli intelligence agencies have received information regarding plans by the Army of Islam – a Palestinian terror group affiliated with al-Qaeda and based in the Gaza Strip – to kidnap Israelis currently vacationing in the Sinai.
Last week, Israel's Air Force bombed a car in Gaza City, killing Mohammed Namnam, a top operative of the Army of Islam. According to the Shin Bet intelligence service, Namnam had been responsible for a number of attacks against Israel in recent years. The CTB said on Thursday that the targeted killing of Namnam was part of Israeli efforts to foil the Army of Islam’s plans.
On Wednesday, the US magazine 'Time' reported that the intelligence on Namnam was provided to Israel by Egypt whose security forces recently arrested 25 members of the terror group an attack on Israelis traveling in the Sinai. In recent months Egypt made dozens of arrests and uncovered large caches of arms apparently destined for terrorist activities against Israelis. A series of raids across the Sinai, which borders the Gaza Strip, troops also discovered machine guns, ammunition, anti-aircraft shells, artillery shells, anti-tank landmines and large quantities of high explosive, according to the 'Haaretz' newspaper.
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