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Israel-Egypt anti-terrorism cooperation at zenith

Israel adapts to a new alliance structure based on common security interests, and in anticipation of a nuclear Middle East.
An Egyptian soldier stands near the Egyptian national flag and the Israeli flag at the Taba crossing between Egypt and Israel, about 430 km (256 miles) northeast of Cairo, October 26, 2011. Israel and Egypt said on Monday they have struck a deal to swap 25 Egyptians in Israeli custody for a U.S.-Israeli dual national accused by Cairo of espionage, in a step seen as easing strains between the strategic neighbors. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El-Ghany  (EGYPT - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS) - RTR2T7XN

1. On the night between Thursday and Friday, May 23, the leader of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, an al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist organization, was killed. This person, Shadi al-Menei, was wanted for a long time by practically all the intelligence services in the region, including those of Israel and Egypt. According to initial reports, a vehicle with armed men drew close to Menei and two of his militants. An accurate and lethal drive-by shooting killed this man, who was said to be responsible for most of the attacks against Egyptian soldiers in Sinai as well as the firing of Grad rockets from Sinai at Israel’s southern city of Eilat.

Speculations about who killed Menei will surely abound over the coming days. The first speculation is predictable, namely a struggle between rival Bedouin tribes in Sinai that are settling scores. On the other hand, there is always someone footing the bill behind every such “settling of scores.” A well-known technique used by intelligence services is to hire local “subcontractors” that are willing to carry out missions, including assassinations, for large sums of money and/or additional benefits. Either way, Menei is no longer with us, prompting no one in Cairo, Jerusalem, Amman or Riyadh to really mourn for him.

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