Israel Issues Severe Travel Warning: Al-Qaida May Attack in Sinai

National Security Council calls on Israelis to return from Egypt after receiving intelligence of planned Islamist attacks.

The National Security Council on Thursday issued  a severe terror and kidnapping threat, warning Israelis against travelling to Egypt and Sinai.

The council specified that they had received intelligence of a possible terror attack by a radical Islamic organization affiliated with al-Qaida that has been stationed in the Sinai.

Sinai tourists - AP - July 23, 2010

According to a top security official, the information came from a reliable source, and stated that the suspected terror organization had already picked a site for the possible terror attack.

The council issued a warning calling all Israelis to leave Sinai as soon as possible, and urged them to contact their family members to let them know of their whereabouts.

Earlier, the Palestinian news agency Maan reported that Egyptian security forces arrested a cell of over 25 people suspected of being part of a radical Islamic group that planned to attack Israeli tourists visiting the Sinai Peninsula.

According to the report, several of the El Arish residents confessed to belonging to the organization.

Meanwhile, Time Magazine reported that Egypt assisted Israel in the recent assassination of a high-ranking Gaza militant, saying Cairo was prompted to aid Israel as a result of its desire to damage Hezbollah's efforts in the Sinai Peninsula.