Egyptian security forces have prevented Iranian agents from bombing an Israeli ship as it passed through the Suez Canal, according to the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram.
The Iranians reportedly hired two Egyptians to carry out the attack, Suleiman Razek Abdul-Razek and Salameh Ahmed Salameh, offering them 50 million Egyptian pounds (roughly $8.3 million US). The two men then tried to pay another to act in their place, but are now denying any involvement in the matter whatsoever.
Egypt has threatened to prosecute anyone found to be attacking Israeli targets in coordination with the Iranians, but Israeli officials also point out that the Egyptian territory of the Sinai peninsula is becoming a safe haven for Iranians and terrorist groups of all shades.
Haaretz, an Israeli news organization, reports:
A high-ranking official in Jerusalem said last week that Iranian military experts have been active in Sinai and the Gaza Strip.
'We can see signs that Iran is building a terror infrastructure throughout Sinai,' he said. The official added that although Israel has responded to every Egyptian request to beef up its forces in Sinai, no significant Egyptian operation has taken place in Sinai since the Egyptian revolution last year.
Several terror groups are now at large in Sinai, the source claimed: local Bedouin, who are adopting the ideology of the Global Jihad; groups supported by Iran who are trying to recruit and train militants not only in Sinai but throughout Egypt; and Palestinian organizations. Joining them are Global Jihad militants from Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and Saudi Arabia... The official said the Iranians are urging and directing Palestinians to carry out attacks, and that they have tried to encourage Hamas to do so as well.
Iran has been grown steadily bolder in recent years, and this is not the first foiled attempt of its kind. Earlier this year, Iranians tried to pay Manssor Arbabsiar to assassinate a foreign diplomat on U.S. soil, and in February the country sent warships into the Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal for the second time since 1979.