Egypt arrests 3 in embassy plot
CAIRO — Egypt's interior minister said on Saturday that security authorities have arrested three suspected al-Qaida-linked militants who were planning to carry out suicide attacks on vital installations and an unspecified foreign embassy.
Mohammed Ibrahim told a news conference that the men had been in contact with Dawood al-Assady, a leader of al-Qaida in southeast Asian countries such as Pakistan, and that the group was planning to attack government buildings and a foreign embassy. He did not disclose details.
Security officials with knowledge of the case said a Western embassy was the target, but did not have further information. They spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
The interior minister said authorities seized 22 pounds of ammonium nitrate, a key ingredient in homemade explosives.
Security officials also discovered statements issued by al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, the group's arm in North Africa, on one of the men's computers with information on how to make bombs and rockets, and ways of collecting intelligence.
Ibrahim said the suspects are also believed to have links with the “Nasr City terror cell,” which was broken up last year and its members arrested on accusations of plotting attacks against public figures in Egypt.
The interior minister denied that al-Qaida is active in Egypt, but he said the three men were in contact with al-Qaida militants abroad.
Egypt's security has sharply deteriorated in the past two years, with Islamic militants suspected of being behind cross-border assaults on Israel as well as a bold attack that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers in the northern Sinai Peninsula last year.
Ibrahim told reporters that the men were trying to take advantage of the country's situation to “target innocent civilians and attack foreign diplomatic missions.”
Ibrahim said one of the three men had received instructions from al-Assady to contact two members of the Nasr City terror cell.
He added that one of the men had received combat training by members of al-Qaida in Iran and Pakistan and had connections with members of al-Qaida in Algeria.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 3 troops killed in Taliban strike in Afghanistan
- Landmark Ukraine, EU deal ratified
- Convict’s wish for assisted suicide OK’d in Belgium
- Nominees for 2 Iraqi ministries rejected
- Poll: ‘No’ leads ‘yes’ in a close Scotland vote on independence from United Kingdom
- Scientists snatch giant opportunity
- Scotland urged to remain in United Kingdom
- 2,900 African migrants killed this year on Mediterranean Sea
- Ukraine plan would give rebels self-rule to end fighting
- Pistorius convicted of culpable homicide
- Residents emerge in shell-shocked Ukrainian city