Egyptian security forces have rejected a Muslim Brotherhood request to establish a Hamas office in Cairo after leaving its headquarters in Damascus, according to Egyptian security sources quoted by the Iraqi paper Azzaman on Tuesday. The security sources were quoted as saying that they put national security considerations first, especially now when Egypt is in the middle of unrest and the new office could lead to further disturbances.
The paper also quotes an anonymous security source who said that there exists three training camps for al-Qaida-linked groups in the northern Sinai. These would form a base from which they could transform the Sinai into a war zone in the case of a clash with the Egyptian army. There are no more than 1,500 people in the camps.
According to the same source, the camps are run by the al-Qaida-linked Egyptian Ansar al-Jihad, the Gaza based Jaljalat group, Jund Muhammad, Jund al-Islam, Tawhid, and the Gaza based al-Jihad. The activity of the camps has increased because of the lawlessness of the Sinai. These groups conduct weapons training during the daytime, including the use of anti-aircraft weapons, tanks, and armor piercing weapons.
Earlier this month, the Egyptian al-Ahram reported that Egyptian Salafist leaders were planning to visit their compatriots in Gaza. No date has yet been set for the visit according to the report.