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Airport Closure and Conference Call Details Put Spotlight on Al Qaeda in the Sinai Peninsula

The growth and consolidation of Al Qaeda-linked groups in the Sinai Peninsula is under renewed focus.

A story published yesterday by the Daily Beast disclosed that the global terror alert recently issued by the United States was the result of information gathered when an Al Qaeda conference call was intercepted by U.S. intelligence.

The call involved more than 20 Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda-linked operatives, including those stationed in the Sinai Peninsula. The Al Qaeda presence in the Egyptian-controlled territory has been deepening and consolidating in recent months, with the group now reportedly led by former Osama bin Laden physician Ramzi Mowafi. Other Al Qaeda-linked operatives on the call reportedly hailed from Nigeria’s Boko Haram, the Pakistani Taliban, the Islamic Maghreb, Uzbekistan, Iraq, and Yemen.

Today Israeli security officials closed Israel’s southern Eilat airport to incoming traffic. At least one top foreign policy analyst took the opportunity to underscore the role being played by Sinai jihadists within Al Qaeda:

[Photo: Euronews / YouTube]