SHARM EL-SHEIK, Egypt – Investigators identified an Egyptian as a possible suicide bomber in the weekend terror attacks at this Red Sea resort and were searching Tuesday for his suspected Islamic militant cohorts – the first break in the probe.
A relative of Moussa Badran said he disappeared after deadly attacks at two other Sinai resorts in October, and that some family members were detained afterward.
The development came as two security officials revealed that authorities received information of an imminent terror attack in Sharm el-Sheik several days before the bombings Saturday. But they believed casinos would be targeted, so security was increased around those sites, not hotels.
The officials would not say where the tip came from, but said headquarters in Cairo told security forces in Sharm to be on alert and to step up measures around key locations.
It appeared authorities chose the wrong possible targets to watch, said an official in Cairo.
Security was heightened around casinos on the theory they would be attacked because Israelis come to the resort for gambling.
The government has sacked the heads of security in North and South Sinai provinces.
Instead of going after casinos, bombers in two explosives-laden trucks targeted hotels. One plowed into the Ghazala Gardens reception area, leveling the lobby. A second headed for another hotel but got caught in traffic and blew up before reaching the target. A third explosive device, hidden in a knapsack, went off minutes after the Ghazala blast at the entrance to a beach promenade. As many as 88 people were killed.