Egypt: Palestinians trained Sinai bombers

CAIRO, May 23 (UPI) -- Egypt said Palestinians trained and financed a terrorist group which carried out a series of bombings in the Sinai Peninsula killing more than 120 people.

A statement released by the interior ministry Tuesday said the Egyptian commander of the group who executed the attack on Dahab resort last April, Nasser Khamis, sent the bombers to Gaza for training on arms and explosives.


It said a Palestinian named Abu Suleiman provided an Egyptian group who carried out other bombings in Sinai since 2004 with money and mobile phones while another Palestinian also trained the group's members in Gaza on manufacturing arms and using explosives.

The statement said the two Palestinians are known to be Muslim fundamentalists but did not say if they were linked to any local Palestinian group.

The ministry said it gained the information during interrogation of wanted terrorists who surrendered to the Egyptian authorities in the past two weeks.

It was the first time that Egypt revealed a link between the Sinai bombings and Palestinian elements in the Gaza Strip.

Only the attack on Taba, a popular resort for Israeli tourists, in which 34 people, including 11 Israelis, were killed in October 2004 was said to have been carried out by a Palestinian who acted in revenge for Israeli practices against the Palestinian people in the occupied territories.


The ministry statement did not mention the Jihad and Tawheed group which the Egyptian authorities say is responsible for the Sinai attacks on Taba, Sharm el-Sheikh in July 2005 and Dahab.

The Jihad and Tawheed group is believed to be influenced by al-Qaida's principles and ideology.

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