Egypt assisted in the recent assassination of a high-ranking Gaza militant, Time Magazine reported on Thursday, saying Cairo was prompted to aid Israel as a result of its desire to damage Hezbollah's efforts in the Sinai Peninsula.
Mohammed Nimnim, 37, a senior member of the Army of Islam, an extremist group that kidnapped British reporter Alan Johnston in March 2007, was killed when his car exploded outside a police station in Gaza City over a week ago.
Israel initially refused to comment on the attack but the Israel Defense Forces later confirmed it had carried out a joint operation with the Shin Bet security service.
The IDF spokeswoman referred to Nimnim as a "ticking bomb", saying he was part of an al Qaida-linked group that was planning attacks on Israeli and U.S. targets in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.
On Thursday, however, Time magazine quoted security sources as saying that Egyptian intelligence had managed to get word of the intended plot against U.S. forces in the region from Army of Islam operatives captured in Sinai.
Referring to the significance and rarity of such an intelligence exchange between the two states, a security source was quoted by Time as saying that Egypt was "helping much more."
As to the reason for the uncommon cooperation, Time cited Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's animosity toward terror activity in the Sinai Peninsula, specifically in the wake of Egypt's uncovering of a major Hezbollah terror ring in the area last year.
In April of 2009, Egypt announced that a cell of 49 men with links to Hezbollah were planning attacks aimed at destabilizing the country. Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, rejected the accusations but confirmed over the weekend that the group had dispatched a member to Egypt - a rare acknowledgment that the Lebanese militant group was operating in another Arab country.
In his first comments on the accusations, Mubarak told Lebanon's prime minister during a phone call on Sunday that Egypt "will not allow anyone to violate its borders or destabilize the country."
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