North Sinai governor rubbishes Al-Qaeda 'rumours'

MENA, Tuesday 21 Feb 2012

Governor of North Sinai denies claims that Al-Qaeda is active in the Egyptian peninsula, blames common criminals for an atmosphere of lawlessness

An Egyptian man looks at flames rising from a pipeline that delivers gas to Israel and Jordan (Photo: AFP)

Governor of North Sinai, Abdel Wehab Mabrouk, strenuously denied allegations that Al-Qaeda had representation in the peninsula.

Since the January 25 revolution, rumours have circulated about the presence of the Ayman El- Zawahry-led organisation in Sinai, but the claims have never been substantiated.

Mabrouk stressed there is no terrorist activity in North Sinai at all. "Sinai is completely safe and terror free," he told reporters.

"But some people are trying to take advantage of the security vacuum and break the law. They are being pursued by security forces and will be brought to justice," he added.

Security in Sinai deteriorated after the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak's as the police faced increasing levels of hostility from local residents, and police were withdrawn across the country.

The North Sinai-based pipeline, which supplies gas to Jordan and Israel, has come under attack at least 12 times since Mubarak was toppled on 11 February 2011.

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