Egyptian officials announced the arrest of some 25 men on Sunday suspected of plotting attacks against Israeli targets in Egypt and US ships in the Suez Canal. The men are being held on charges of stockpiling weapons and explosives, some of which they were planning to ship to Hamas.
In response, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced that his forces will “quash” Islamist groups that threaten his state’s stability. Mubarak also defended Egypt’s metal barrier currently in construction along its border with Gaza, saying it will stop militants from crossing.
As Khairi Abaza noted in the fall 2007 issue of inFOCUS, Egypt will improve border security “not because America seeks it, but because of its own national security interests.”