National security studies possibility of Al-Qaeda attacks in Egypt

General Hamid Abdallah,  head of the Egyptian National Security Agency, said that Cairo is studying the possibility that Al-Qaeda would execute an attack in Egypt given the country's recently lax security.

In a statement to the London-based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Abdallah said that the Egyptian National Security Agency began its counter-terrorism and intelligence activities inside and outside of Egypt by looking into the new internal structure of Al-Qaeda after the recent death of Osama Bin Laden at the hands of American forces in Pakistan. The agency is also considering the possibility Al-Qaeda will plan and execute terrorist operations in Egypt given the security vacuum that resulted from recent unrest.

Abdallah added that Egypt continues to cooperate with other Arab countries to combat terrorism and organized crime.

Abdallah denied the presence of Al-Qaeda elements in the Sinai Peninsula or any other region in Egypt. He described recent reports regarding the infiltration of 400 Al-Qaeda members with Asian and Arab nationalities as “media tampering.” Abdallah made it clear that the agency recently tightened its hold on all of the country’s legal entry points that terrorists might use to enter Egypt under pseudonyms.

Abdallah stressed that the country’s illegal entry points, namely from the Eastern border through the Sinai Peninsula, are handled in cooperation with the military intelligence and the National Security Agency. The Egyptian National Security Agency only provides information to both of these agencies as it does not yet have an office in Sinai because of deteriorating security conditions there.

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