By Tariq Alhomayed, Editor-in-Chief *
Egypt's security, the non-violation of its sovereignty, and the protection of its borders was considered to be a red line [not to be crossed], despite the differences of opinion with Cairo, the surprise is that there are those who are trying to justify the actions of the Hezbollah cell in Egypt.
It is important to monitor those that defend bin Nasrallah, and his Egyptian sleeper cell. This is not the first Hezbollah sleeper cell; indeed Hezbollah cells are spread throughout the important regions of the Arab world. The latest information to be revealed is that Sami Shehab is the leader of the "Dawl Al Tawq" cell [Surrounding Countries, i.e. countries that surround Israel] that is to say Egypt, Syria, and Jordan.
In order to understand the relationship between terrorists in our region it is important to recall the cell that was discovered in Bahrain, as well as the [televised] confession of Mohamed Al Oufi, who surrendered himself to the Saudi security authorities. In this confession many paragraphs were expunged including those that contained the names of four countries which have been facilitating the work of Al Qaeda in our region, as well as cooperating with the Houthi rebellion in Yemen.
Returning to the subject of Egypt, rather than denouncing the plans of the Hezbollah cell in Cairo, some have rushed to the defense of the Iran-affiliated Hezbollah group justifying their crimes against Egypt in an operation of simplifying and minimizing the seriousness of what happened, and the seriousness of violating the sovereignty of an Arab state. But who is defending Hezbollah?
The answer is simple and does not require excessive intelligence or guess-work; Hezbollah's defenders are Syria, Iran, Hamas, and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood organization, this is the same quarter that has ignited every crisis that occurs between Arab countries.
The Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mahdi Akef, continued in his defense of Hezbollah and its leader [Nasrallah] saying that all that has been said about the terrorist group's plans in Egypt was incitement. Of course this is not surprising from someone who previously said "to hell with Egypt."
Following the line put forward by its mother organization, the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Hamas movement issued a statement in which it proclaimed its solidarity with Hezbollah against what it described as the "cruel campaign" [against Hezbollah]. The statement also said that arms smuggling is not a [criminal] charge, but an honor. That's correct; the Damascus branch of Hamas said that violating the sovereignty of Arab countries is not a crime, but an honor!
As for Iran, Ali Larijani (on the right)rushed to the defense of the Tehran-affiliated group and made excuses that can only be described as ingenuous, saying that the goal of the Egyptian statements [on the Hezbollah cell] is to hurt the Hezbollah movement in the [forthcoming] Lebanese elections.
The question here is: If Hezbollah is Lebanese, as it claims, why has Iran, indeed the Iranian Speaker of Parliament, rushed to the defense of Hassan Nasrallah, or is it that all Tehran is concerned about is defending its armed wing in Lebanon?
As for the Syrians, their media has begun to make claims of ties between Egypt and Israel targeting the "resistance" which is something that is repeated only in the Syrian media, although Syria is more than able to give Egypt and others lessons in protecting the "resistance." Syria has the ability to do this easily, not by arms smuggling through the Golan Heights, but by discovering who assassinated Imad Mughniyeh in the "resistance" capital of Damascus, he was a top commander in Hezbollah after all!
* Tariq Alhomayed is the Editor-in-Chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, the youngest person to be appointed that position. Mr. Alhomayed has an acclaimed and distinguished career as a Journalist and has held many key positions in the field including; Assistant Editor-in-Chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, Managing Editor of Asharq Al-Awsat in Saudi Arabia, Head of Asharq Al-Awsat Newspaper's Bureau-Jeddah, Correspondent for Al - Madina Newspaper in Washington D.C. from 1998 to Aug 2000. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs including: the BBC, German TV, Al Arabiya, Al- Hurra, LBC and the acclaimed Imad Live’s four-part series on terrorism and reformation in Saudi Arabia. He is also the first Journalist to conduct an interview with Osama Bin Ladin's Mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a BA degree in Media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah, and has also completed his Introductory courses towards a Master’s degree from George Washington University in Washington D.C. He is based in London.