An investigation in Egypt is underway into a November 14 incident during which ISIS members successfully hijacked an EAF missile boat. They planned to then attack and hijack an Israeli ship, Arab media reported Monday, to use as leeway for the release of Palestinian prisoners.
Reports say that the incident took place in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, by the Suez canal.
The hijacked EAF ship departed from the Port of Damietta in northern Egypt.
An Egyptian report revealed that an Islamic State activist replaced the intended captain by staging a car accident in which the latter was supposedly involved in. Islamic State militants then hijacked the ship as it was departing from the canal.
The Egyptian fleet began suspecting wrongdoings when the hijacked ship failed to identify itself. Broadcasts from the boat later revealed the identity of the captain, tying him to Islamic State, and confirming the fleet’s concerns. Egypt then sent out reinforcement boats to the scene.
The hijacked ship was neutralized after an exchange of fire. Eight of the ship’s sailors have been missing since.
An Egyptian military spokesperson issued a statement saying that five soldiers were injured in addition to the eight soldiers declared missing.
According to Egyptian military sources, three Islamic State-captained boats attacked the missile ship by the shores of Damietta. The Egyptian Navy, with the assistance of Egyptian Air Force helicopters, then attacked the three boats, killing some Islamic State militants and arresting 32 others.
Egyptian military sources say that “The Egyptian security forces are looking into the possibility that a foreign country gave logistical assistance to the Islamic State militants.”
Abu Al-Insaari, a journalist acquainted with Islamic State, said that the hijackers were looking to achieve two goals: “to attack a ship transporting 200 Egyptian soldiers to northern Sinai, and to attack an Israeli ship in order to kidnap it’s crew for use as leverage in negotiations with Israel for the release of Palestinian prisoners.”
via The Jerusalem Post