Al-Ahram Research Center Expert Dhiaa Rashwan: Israel Carried Out the Sinai Bombings
The following are excerpts from an interview with Dhiaa Rashwan, expert on radical Islam at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies:
Rashwan: Al-Qa'ida, as an organization, has lost its ability to operate outside Afghanistan and Pakistan. Ideologically, for Al-Qa'ida to carry out operations such as these, it needs local organizations. In this part of Egypt, there are no local Islamic organizations. This area measures one square kilometer and is exposed, security-wise, especially for the Israeli authorities. I believe this operation was carried out through infiltration from the Israeli side, no more than five minutes away from this area…
Interviewer: Let me understand what you are saying, Dr. Dhiaa. Do you claim that this operation bears Israeli fingerprints and that Israel is behind it? What would lead Israel to carry such an operation?
Dr. Rashwan: Such operations realize higher Israeli goals. We must note that not only did Israel announce from the outset that Al-Qa'ida was responsible for the operation, but the top security authorities, and even the Israeli Defense Minister, announced that they exclude the possibility of Palestinian involvement in the operation, while Israel's natural reaction in such cases would be to claim Palestinian involvement.
The main goals of this operation are as follows: First, to convince the world that Egypt is not a stable country, thus opening the door for external involvement, specifically Israeli and American, for the so-called preservation of security and eradication of terrorism in the region.
Second, [the attack] gives Sharon a green light not only to strike the Palestinians in the occupied territories under the pretext of fighting terrorism, but also a legitimate justification for striking the Palestinians abroad because Israeli citizens were attacked abroad.