Egypt “locks the barn door” after the chickens escape and sends helicopter gunships to the Sinai in search for the global jihad terrorists who killed 17 Egyptian border soldiers and tried to attack Israel Sunday night.
Al Qaeda-linked terrorist gangs, Bedouin terrorists and drug smugglers, and terrorists from Gaza have turned the Sinai into a jihad nest, particularly since the latter stages of the Mubarak regime and the ensuing vacuum left by the provisional military government.
Egypt paid the price for its lack of control in the area Sunday night, losing 17 men in a well-planned terrorist attack that set off the alarm bells in Cairo. Egyptians are furious at the government for ignoring Israeli intelligence warnings of an imminent attack. The anger also is aimed at Hamas, whose control of Gaza has been challenged by Islamic Jihad and other terrorists.
Mubarak cooperated closely with Israel on security and suppressed Islamist movements such as Mohammed Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood, whose leaders often voiced hostility towards the Jewish state.
Egypt's military, which still holds many levers of power in the most populous Arab nation, called the attackers "infidels" and said it had been patient until now in the face of the instability in Sinai, Reuters reported.
"But there is a red line and passing it is not acceptable. Egyptians will not wait for long to see a reaction to this event," it said in a statement on its Facebook page.
Morsi had agreed to open the Gaza border at Rafiah in return for Hamas’ promises to secure the border there, but after the attack, Egypt announced it was closing its border crossing into Gaza "indefinitely".
Hamas, which condemned the killings of the Egyptians, immediately sealed smuggling tunnels that connect Gaza with Egypt after Cairo said the gunmen had used these links to reach their territory.
Hamas not only denied its terrorists were involved in Sunday night’s attack, it also accused Israel of carrying it out.
Deputy Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzouk wrote on his Facebook page, “The brutal murders of Egyptian soldiers while they were breaking the daily fast of Ramadan [was carried out] by the bombs of Israeli warplanes.”
He based his claim on Israel’s advance knowledge from intelligence sources of an imminent attack, making it obvious to him that Israel itself planned it.The travel warning to Israeli tourists to return home immediately from the Sinai Peninsula was the clincher for him.
Marzouk, who previously has encouraged and praised terrorist attacks on Israelis, sent his condolences to Egypt on the deaths of the soldiers.
Hamas’ deputy chairman of the legislature also blamed Israel for the attack, saying it killed the Egyptian soldiers as an excuse “to tighten the ‘siege’ on Gaza and overshadow the ‘crimes’ in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.”