Egypt raises alert at Cairo airport after Al Qaida threats

Egypt has increased security at its international airport in response to threats of an Al Qaida strike. Officials said the regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has concluded that Cairo could follow Algeria and Britain, both targeted by Al Qaida. They said an Al Qaida-aligned cell has been exposed in Egypt and its leader has escaped to the Gaza Strip.

“Precautionary measures had to be taken, especially that Egypt is not isolated from the events of the world, like the explosions in Britain and Algeria, because those who carry out these acts are not individuals, but groups,” Egyptian Deputy Interior Minister Gamal Gouhari said.

Gouhari, responsible for airport security, said authorities have increased security amid the influx of Arab tourists in Egypt, Middle East Newsline reported. He did not cite a specific Al Qaida threat. The state-owned Middle East News Agency reported that authorities have erected five police checkpoints on roads to Cairo International Airport. MENA said police were using dogs to search motorists and arrivals.

Officials said authorities have also bolstered the police presence in Cairo’s subway system. They said threats have been sent of an imminent bombing in a station located in an fundamentalist Islamic neighborhood.

So far, most of the Islamic insurgency attacks in Egypt have taken place in the Sinai Peninsula, the source of most of the nation’s tourist revenue. The Sinai attacks were said to have been conducted by Bedouins recruited by the Al Qaida network in Iraq.

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