12 May 2013

Plot to bomb Western embassy foiled, says Egyptian official

1:48 pm on 12 May 2013

Egyptian police have arrested three members of an al-Qaeda linked militant group who were planning a suicide attack on a Western embassy, the country's interior minister says.

Mohammed Ibrahim said the plot was in its final stages, and a quantity of chemicals had been found, but he did not specify which embassy was targetted.

Mr Ibrahim gave the names of three men and said they were planning attacks in both Cairo and Alexandria.

A lawyer for the three men told al-Ahram website they denied all the accusations and he condemned the case as "fabricated".

The minister gave details of the discovery of 10kg (22lbs) of ammonium nitrate - which can be used in improvised explosives - a computer with files containing information on bomb-making and a flash memory with instructions on how to build rockets.

He also linked the men to a group arrested last October who were accused of setting up a cell in the Nasr City area of Cairo.

Islamist militants have been blamed for recent attacks on Egyptian targets in Sinai, apparently taking advantage of the increasing lawlessness in the region since the revolution that brought down former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

A small militant Salafist group said it fired two rockets from Sinai at the Israeli port of Eilat last month.