Egypt Versus Hizbullah: They Really Don't Like Each Other

[Economist-UK] In a sign of a deepening rift between differently aligned camps across the Middle East, Egypt's authorities claim to have busted a spy ring run by Hizbullah on Egyptian soil. The Lebanese group is allied to a front which embraces Syria, Iran and Hamas, and espouses confrontation with Israel. Exposure of a Hizbullah cell feeds the fears of many Sunni Arab governments that Shia Iran is using the group to extend its influence at their expense. Egypt's state prosecutor has charged 25 people with forming a cell to smuggle weapons across Egypt's border with Gaza, monitor shipping in the Suez Canal and plot attacks against Egypt itself. Government-owned newspapers in Cairo say the cell planned terrorist attacks on Egyptian resort hotels, targeting Israeli tourists with the aim of stoking general unrest and prompting a military coup. Other Egyptian press reports assert that a round of arrests in December netted four members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards. Just as Nasrallah's unsubtle call for Mubarak's overthrow annoyed even some of the Egyptian president's foes at home, the revelation of Hizbullah intrigue raises questions about the group's intentions.

2009-04-20 06:00:00

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