The governor of Egypt's northern Sinai denied that al-Qaeda has a presence in the province, saying that his region is free of terrorist organisations, Egypt's al-Ahram daily reported Tuesday (February 21st.)
In press statements made Tuesday during a meeting with new Shura Council members, Governor Lt. Gen. Abdul Wahab Mabrouk said "there are no terrorist organisations, whether al-Qaeda or other groups, in the Sinai. The news that was reported by some media outlets in this regard is completely unfounded".
"Sinai is completely secure and free of terrorism, and security and stability prevail all over it," he said.
A group called Ansar al-Jihad in Sinai declared its allegiance to al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri on January 23rd.
In recent months, armed groups have blown up pipelines that supply natural gas to Jordan and Israel, attacked the al-Arish police station, and conducted an operation that targeted Israeli soldiers in the city of Eilat.