Egypt Arrests Suspect in Terror Attack Near Eilat

Mohammed Eid Muslih Hamad, thought to be commander of an Al-Qaida inspired group operating in the Sinai was arrested without resistance, an Egyptian official said.

Egyptian authorities have arrested a suspect involved in the planning of the August terror attack on the road to Eilat in which eight Israelis were killed, official sources in Cairo said Sunday.

Mohammed Eid Muslih Hamad, also known as El-Tihi, was arrested without resistance in the northern Sinai town of El Arish, an Egyptian official said. He is thought to be the commander of an Al-Qaida inspired group that operates in the Sinai.

According to the Palestinian news agency, Ma'an, El-Tihi is expected to be charged with detonating an explosive belt worn by one of the Eilat attackers that caused the deaths of several Egyptian soldiers. Six Egyptians were killed in the August 18 attack.

El-Tihi is also suspected of involvement in the repeated sabotaging of the gas pipeline that runs between Egypt, Israel and Jordan. The seventh explosion to shut down the pipeline this year occured last Thursday.

According to Ma'an, El-Tihi is also being charged in connection with attacks on police stations in El Arish and Rafiah, in which several people were killed.

This is the first time that any of the terrorists involved in the August attack along the Egyptian border have been identified. Until now, Israeli defense officials have refused to identify the terrorists who were killed in the attack and whose bodies were found on the Israeli side of the border.

Israeli officials said the attack was jointly executed by Gaza's Popular Resistance Committees and the Al-Qaida group in Sinai.