Crossfire War: Al-Qaeda Now Within Striking Distance of Suez Canal

Crossfire War: Middle East Theatre; Al-Qaeda (Iran) Now Within Striking Distance of Suez Canal – Israel – Jordan

Night Watch: el ARISH – Al Qaeda (Iran) has established a local terror network in Northern Sinai – centering on el Arish and in strongholds in the inaccessible central mountains of the peninsula around Jebel Hillal. [Debka File]

According to the intelligence report, Jihadists control approximately one fifth of Sinai total area (61,000 sq. km/23,500 sq. m). Egyptian forces have been unable to penetrate these areas controlled by centuries old smuggler clans who Tehran has incorporated. Bedouins and Palestinians, working with Tehran have created strongholds more fortified than Aghanistan’s Tora Bora.

Some of the peaks reach 7,500 ft and the paths are barricaded by huge rocks with concealed explosives rigged to set off an avalanche. There are even anti-personnel and anti-tank mines, with the caves used as firing positions that have mortars and heavy machine guns.

Egyptian forces that attempted to reach them encountered heavy casualties. Cairo can only claim to control the main roads on the desert’s periphery: from Ras Sudeir down to Sharm el Sheikh along the Suez Canal and Suez Gulf shores; from the Suez Canal east to El Arish along the Mediterranean and from Sharm el Sheikh north along the Gulf of Aqaba to Taba and the Israeli port of Eliat.

Control of this area is of crucial importance if Tehran is going to accomplish the Jiahd’s economic agenda. Cairo is reluctant to go to Israel for assistance because it would make them appear to be working against Islam and its attempt to remove the West’s economic presence from this area. Egyptian intelligence does not even know how many anti-aircraft missiles the militants have. Consequently they have been unable to close any of the weapon smuggling routes that crisscross the area day and night that run through Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and the Gaza Strip.

Terrorists here have been incorporated into the supply network of Hizbollah, Hamas, Jihad Islami and the Popular Fronts. As the report concludes they are not after the occasional tourist target. The bases here can now attack the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Gulf of Aqaba, the Suez Canal and the Egyptian heartland while at the same time provide fighters for the war in Iraq and Israel.

While the Allies are chasing the Jihad around the economically insignifcant Afghanistan, protecting the head of a narco- state, Tehran’s Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, has established an economically strategic base network that could control this economic nucleus.

Night Watch Information Service

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Willard Payne is an international affairs analyst who specializes in International Relations. A graduate of Western Illinois University with a concentration in East-West Trade and East-West Industrial Cooperation, he has been providing incisive analysis to NewsBlaze. He is the author of Imagery: The Day Before.