Suez Canal
Suez CanalArutz Sheva Photo: Naval Historical Center

The latest tensions in the Sinai Peninsula and the concerns over the growing presence of terrorist groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda are having an effect on Egyptian operations in the Suez Canal, it was reported Thursday.

According to reports coming in from Egypt, officials fear that terrorists are planning an attack in the canal and have taken measures to protect the area, such as increasing security presence and deploying units throughout the canal.

The heavy presence of Egyptian soldiers is reportedly being felt in the city of El Qantara and on the Peace Bridge near the city of Ismailia. As well, checkpoints have been set up on the main roads leading to the Suez Canal and a sophisticated network of cameras has been deployed along the waterway for the purpose of monitoring incoming ships.

Reportedly, the Egyptians’ main concern is that Al-Qaeda terrorists will try to attack a Western ship as it is crossing the Suez Canal.

Earlier this week, security sources in Cairo said that security in the Suez Canal was upped to prevent the escape of wanted terrorists from the Sinai Peninsula to the west bank of the canal.

Terrorism in Egypt, and especially in the Sinai Peninsula, has been a headache for Egypt’s ruling military. Since the uprising which ended the Mubarak regime, the Sinai Peninsula has been in a state of anarchy with terrorists, some of them affiliated with Al-Qaeda, having infiltrated the region.

The Egyptian army has been cracking down on the terrorists and has launched a major operation in the area. This didn’t stop the Gaza terrorists who committed last week’s multiple terror attacks near Eilat from crossing into Israeli territory through the chaotic Sinai Peninsula. Eight Israelis were killed in those attacks.