Blog of the Week Thomas Joscelyn has the best discussion I’ve seen so far of who may have been behind yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Egypt. Read it all; here are the key paragraphs:
The attack in Dahab was the third terrorist strike against tourist areas in the Sinai in the past two years. In each of the previous attacks, the terrorists detonated three explosive devices nearly simultaneously. In October 2004, one of the targets was a Hilton hotel in Taba. The terrorists killed nearly three dozen people. In July 2005, 90 people were killed when terrorists struck tourist locations in Sharm el-Sheikh.
Egyptian officials sent mixed signals after each of the bombings, often blaming local radicals and downplaying any ties to al Qaeda’s international network. But, late last month the Egyptian government banned a group called Al-Tawhid wal Jihad (Unity and Holy War), which had claimed responsibility for the Sharm el-Sheikh attack and pledged allegiance to bin Laden. (Several groups initially claimed responsibility for the attack, including a group calling itself the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, which is within al Qaeda’s orbit.)
During the course of the government’s investigation into the Sharm el-Sheikh bombings it became apparent that the same group was behind both. Egypt’s chief state prosecutor, Hisham Badawi, recently explained, “During the interrogations in progress for the Sharm el-Sheikh attacks, the accused have acknowledged having carried out similar attacks in Taba.”