The Egyptian assessment was formed amid an investigation of a Muslim
Brotherhood cell suspected of working with Hamas. Al Ahram said Brotherhood
operatives were supplying components and expertise needed to develop an
The sources said two Brotherhood members -- identified as Abdul Hai Al
Faramawi and Mohammed Wahdan -- relayed $3,700 to two Bedouins in the Sinai
Peninsula to purchase 30 containers of fuel, a remote control device and
spare parts for the UAVs. The UAVs were said to have been designed to
contain an explosive payload. The Brotherhood has denied any involvement.
The Brotherhood cell was said to have included a professor at Al Azhar
University, believed to have provided UAV expertise. Another suspect was
identified as a Brotherhood operative responsible for eastern Sinai along
the Gaza border.
Israeli intelligence sources said the Iranian-sponsored Hizbullah has
also sought to help Hamas develop an attack UAV. In the 2006 war with
Israel, Hizbullah sent several UAVs with a conventional explosive payload
into Israel. The UAVs were either intercepted by the Israel Air Force or
fell into the Mediterranean Sea.
Egypt has been interrogating hundreds of Hamas operatives in the Sinai
Peninsula since the Palestinian regime destroyed the Gaza-Sinai border wall
in January 2008. Egyptian security forces have been on high alert along the
Gaza border for another Hamas infiltration.