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Thursday, February 10, 2011     FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

Al Qaida militias in Gaza said to have bombed Sinai natural gas terminal

CAIRO — Egypt has determined that Al Qaida-aligned militias in the neighboring Gaza Strip were responsible for the bombing of a natural gas terminal that supplied both Israel and Jordan.


Security sources said cameras at the gas terminal near the Sinai city of El Arish pointed to the identities of those who attacked the facility on Feb. 5. They said the suspects were believed to be members of an Al Qaida-aligned militia in the neighboring Gaza Strip.

"They are likely to have been Palestinians who entered Rafah through the tunnels," a security source said.

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The sources said the most likely planner of the bombing was the Al Qaida-aligned Army of Islam. Army of Islam, headed by Mumtaz Dughmoush, was said to be responsible for a string of attacks in Egypt since 2007.

Egyptian authorities have relayed information on the suspects to the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip, the sources said. They said Hamas was unlikely to arrest anybody from Army of Islam, a former ally.

The bombing at the gas facility sparked a huge fire that forced a shutdown of gas to Israel and Jordan. The sources said the facility would require at least another week for repairs.

Army of Islam has been identified as the chief suspect in the bombing of a Coptic church in Alexandria in January. The sources said Egyptian forensic experts were examining traces of the bomb in the gas facility to determine if they matched the explosives in the church.

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