Jihadists in training in Gaza
Jihadists in training in GazaIsrael News Photo: (Flash 90)

Several Europeans, involved in an Egypt-based terror cell affiliated with al-Qaeda, received training in Gaza by Palestinian Authority factions. The cell was plotting to bomb energy pipelines between Israel and Egypt, as well as to carry out

Europeans in the terror cell reportedly underwent arms and explosives training by Palestinian Authority factions in Gaza.

surveillance of Israeli traffic through the Suez Canal. An Egyptian police investigation also revealed the flow of al-Qaeda funds from Gaza to Egypt.

According to a report by the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masri Al-Youm, an ongoing investigation into the February 22, 2009, bombing in the Al-Hussein Square in Cairo turned up startling evidence of al-Qaeda's connections in Gaza and of the group's operations in Egypt. Accused by police of perpetrating the attack at the popular tourist spot, which killed a French girl and injured two dozen others, are three Belgians, a man from France, another from the United Kingdom, two brothers from the PA and five Egyptians.

Several of the Europeans in the terror cell reportedly underwent arms and explosives training by Palestinian Authority factions in Gaza, where they also received funding. After making their way into Egypt and joining the Arab cell members, according to police, the group perpetrated the Cairo bombing and was planning to attack Israeli targets in Egypt.

The two brothers in the cell, Hisham and Ahmed Abd El-Rahman Khalil al-Saie from Gaza, were under the direct command of a fugitive Egyptian al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist currently living in the PA. The al-Saie brothers were instructed to head an operation to bomb energy pipelines between Egypt and Israel, as well as to provide reconnaissance intelligence for a future maritime attack on Israeli traffic through the Suez Canal.

The al-Saies infiltrated Egypt through one of the many smuggling tunnels connecting the Hamas regime and the Sinai Peninsula. Egyptian police seized weapons, explosives, anti-tank rockets, car bombs and explosive belts belonging to the busted terror cell from houses in a village in northern Sinai.

In addition to the operational details, the Al-Masri Al-Youm report revealed, police learned how al-Qaeda in Gaza has been able to transfer funds into Egypt. The French citizen accused in the Cairo bombing investigation allegedly also handled smuggling cash to the Egyptian wife of the fugitive al-Qaeda operative currently in Gaza.

Egyptian police are investigating whether the cell currently under investigation was also somehow related to al-Qaeda bombings of Sinai resorts in 2005 and 2006.