The Egyptian government has just uncovered a plot by members of the Zeitun terrorist cell to assassinate the Israeli ambassador to Egypt, Shalom Cohen, and blow up his home as well as the heavily-guarded Israeli Embassy in Egypt, according to the Jerusalem Post.
The plot developed in 2007, and the terrorists trained in Gaza for the attacks, according to Egyptian security officials. The terrorists planned to join Al Qaeda in Iraq after killing the ambassador, and had plans to blow up Christian and Muslim religious sites in Egypt, as well as a national oil pipeline shared by Israel and Egypt. The Egyptian security forces discovered the plot after investigating a robbery of a jewelry store last year, which allegedly was supposed to finance the assassination attempt.
The suspects told their interrogators that the reason they had failed in their assassination attempt was because the security protection for Ambassador Cohen was so strong. Even so, as a result of the discovery of this plot, security for Ambassador Cohen has now been increased to such an extent that Egyptian officials say a future assassination attempt would be “impossible.”
Reflecting on Cohen’s attempted assassination, Michelle Mazel, wife of former Israeli ambassador to Egypt Zvi Mazel, has a powerful op-ed in the Jerusalem Post about the perils of being an Israeli ambassador, past attacks on Israeli ambassadors, and the realities of her life under security protection.
(Photo: Sam and Ian)