In recent months, terrorists have been trying to set up an al-Qaida branch in Sinai Peninsula
In recent months, global terrorist groups have been trying to consolidate the establishment of a branch of the al-Qaida terrorist group in the Sinai Peninsula, according to a report of the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.
Interrogations of terrorist suspects arrested by Egypt have revealed that the Palestinian Army of Islam organization, which identifies with global jihad, has been working to establish an al-Qaida branch in Sinai.
As part of these efforts, a training base was set up in el-Arish last February. Around 2,000 operatives went there to receive weapons training.
The purpose of the training was to establish a global jihad force in Sinai that would act to drive out Egyptian and multi-national forces that are deployed in Sinai.
In recent months, terrorists have attacked government sites in northern Sinai (including five attacks on the pipeline that Egypt uses to provide Israel and Jordan with gas).
Egyptian forces subsequently launched an operation to strengthen Egypt's authority over Sinai and to increase its supervision of foreign elements entering Sinai.
As part of this, Egypt strengthened its forces stationed in Sinai by about 1,000 soldiers and police, including armored forces.
Most of the Egyptian forces are deployed in the el-Arish and Sheikh Zuid areas of Sinai. A number of terrorists were arrested by Egyptian forces and in some cases there were exchanges of gunfire.