Israeli security officials warn that ISIS plans to attack tourist resorts in Sinai and, eventually, Israel itself.
By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News
An Israeli security official warned Wednesday that the Islamic State (ISIS) affiliate in the Sinai is planning attacks against tourist resorts frequented by Israelis in the Sinai Peninsula.
Intelligence analysis of the group’s change in operational patterns and latest recruits has led Israel’s security establishment to the understanding that ISIS intends to hit the resorts in the near future.
The official explained that the local Bedouin tribes have joined forces with ISIS, seeking primarily financial benefits. Some of the Bedouins involved in terror are also part of the tourism industry in the area.
He explained that the Bedouins were being offered a higher price by ISIS than by the tourism industry, and therefore have begun working for the terror group. “It is impossible to know what offer they [the Bedouins] received last night, and therefore that nice Bedouin who smiled yesterday could be an accomplice in planning a terror attack, leading tourists into an ambush or any other venue of action.”
The relative peace in the Peninsula is deceiving, he continued, explaining that ISIS is not deterred by the Egyptian army and has recently executed several successful attacks. These incidents are not reported by Egyptian media, who wish to give the sense that there is nothing to fear.
Israel recently issued a travel advisory ahead of the Jewish holidays with a strong warning about terror plots around the globe, warning specifically of attacks in the Sinai.
The National Security Council (NSC) Counter-Terrorism Bureau issued a “severe travel warning” for the Sinai Peninsula, which is a favored vacation spot among Israelis.
Speaking to IDF Radio on Wednesday, Col. Yehuda HaCohen, who commands the sector that includes the border with Egypt, said that ISIS has not directly attacked Israel yet only because it has chosen not to do so. They are focusing their efforts against Egypt, and do not want to invest their resources against Israel now “because they know they will pay a heavy price.”
However, in his assessment, ISIS will carry out a terror attack on Israel’s border in the near future. “It is clear to me that there will be a terror attack against Israel, and I believe it will occur during my watch,” he stated.
Hacohen is training his forces for this eventuality, and “when it happens, we should deal them a strong blow,” he declared.