Egypt: Leader of al-Qaida-inspired group arrested

November 13, 2011 - 4:55 AM

EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) — A senior Egyptian security official says police have arrested the leader of al-Qaida-inspired group in the Sinai peninsula that was behind attacks on police and on a gas pipeline that transports fuel to Israel and Jordan.

The official said Mohammed Eid Muslih Hamad, also known as "El-Tihi", was arrested without resistance early Sunday in a seaside vacation house in the northern Sinai town of el-Arish.

El-Tihi was also being investigated in connection to an August series of attacks into southern Israel, the official said on condition of anonymity in line with his orders.

The group, taking advantage of the power vacuum in the mountainous peninsula after toppling Hosni Mubarak's regime in February, launched a campaign under the name of al-Qaida in Sinai calling for the establishment of an Islamic emirate.