Wreckage of APC from terror attack.
Wreckage of APC from terror attack. Israel news photo: Flash 90

The terror group Army of Islam is behind Sunday’s terror attack in the Sinai Peninsula, a Qatari website reported on Thursday.

According to the report in the Bawaba Ash-Sharq website, Egyptian security forces investigating the attack in which 16 Egyptian officers were killed, have concluded that Army of Islam members carried it out. Army of Islam is an Al-Qaeda inspired Gaza-based terrorist group that wishes to see Gaza run by Muslim Sharia law.

According to the report, the terrorists came to an Egyptian army position in Rafiah in three vehicles and were dressed in olive-colored uniforms and shoes similar to those worn by Egyptian soldiers. Four terrorists emerged from the first vehicle and between eight and ten emerged from the other two.

The four terrorists opened fire at Egyptian soldiers who were eating the meal marking the end of the Ramadan fast day and shot them in the head, said the report. They then entered one of the armored vehicles, forcing one of the Egyptian soldiers to drive it and shooting him dead after a few kilometers.

Between eight and ten terrorists wearing explosive belts were in a fourth vehicle which tried to enter Israel through the Kerem Shalom crossing, the report said. One of the terrorists stayed in the vehicle and the rest tried to reach the Israeli position at the border crossing in an Egyptian armored vehicle. Three of them set off the explosive belts they were wearing when they discovered a glitch in the armored vehicle. Another armored vehicle was destroyed by the Israeli Air Force and the third vehicle blew up, and six charred bodies were found inside it.

Egypt has launched a crackdown on Sinai terrorism in response to the attack. Residents of El Arish in northern Sinai reported Thursday that the Egyptian military has sent reinforcements of "unprecedented" size into the peninsula.

The forces reportedly include 60 tanks on 30 tank-transporters, 12 armored personnel carriers, 15 additional armored vehicles, more than 20 armored jeeps and 10 Military Police jeeps.

The head of Egyptian intelligence, Mourad Mowafy, admitted on Tuesday that Egypt had received intelligence about Sunday’s attack on the Egypt-Israel border before it took place, but said that “we never imagined that a Muslim would kill a Muslim during the meal to end the Ramadan fast day.”

Mowafy was later fired by Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, who has vowed to avenge the deaths of the murdered soldiers.