Egypt had a very public argument with Hezbollah recently. In April it arrested 49 Hezbollah agents for espionage and planning hostile operations. A government-controlled newspaper even called Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah a “monkey sheikh.”
This spat is no trivial matter. Hezbollah is essentially an arm of Iran. And Iran poses a serious threat. Its infiltration of Egypt has become so deep that Cairo felt impelled to act.
The Hezbollah cell arrested in April had smuggled weapons and arms to Hamas, planned attacks on tourists in the Sinai, and conducted surveillance on the Suez and other strategic targets. According to Egypt’s Attorney General Abdel-Magid Mohammed, it had rented apartments overlooking the Suez Canal to spy on canal traffic, and held training workshops on how to spread Shiite ideology in Egypt.
Nasrallah rejected the many accusations but did admit that Hezbollah had some operatives in the area to smuggle weapons and men into Gaza.
In spite of the bust, the threat is far from neutralized. Israel’s Lt. Col. Moshe Marzouk, of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, warned: “Other cells operate in Egypt. The one that was uncovered is neither the first nor the last, and so there is still the danger of an attack against the Israeli Embassy in Cairo” (Ynetnews, April 13).
Too Strong to Shake Off
“Egypt’s territory has become no-man’s-land for the smuggling of money, weapons and terror cells. In fact, because of the difficulties in transporting arms, Hezbollah and the Iranians have built rocket production workshops in Sinai,” Lieutenant Colonel Marzouk continued. “However, until now the Egyptians preferred not to act against the cells, assuming they do not pose a threat to the Egyptian regime but [are] rather meant for Gaza.
“Now it has become clear that the terror infrastructure was planning to carry out attacks against Israeli targets in the heart of Egypt, while ignoring the sovereignty of the local government, and by this it crossed a red line.”
Hezbollah is not the only group Iran is using to infiltrate Egypt. Iran has long had informal ties with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, an extremist group that aims to create an Islamic state in Egypt.
Iran has also heavily penetrated Egypt’s neighbor Sudan, out of which the Nile flows. Journalist Smadar Peri painted a dire picture of how vulnerable this makes Egypt: “In one moment, Iranian intelligence agents can block the Nile’s water sources, Egypt’s lifeblood, send in al-Qaeda-style murderers, and smuggle weapons and explosives not only to Gaza’s tunnels but also to Cairo and to the Alexandria Port” (ibid., April 12).
It is now clear to Egypt’s leaders that Iran’s presence through Hezbollah—not to mention Egypt’s own Muslim Brotherhood—is a threat not only to Israel, but to their own nation as well. Marzouk says Iran’s hold on Egypt is already too strong for Egypt to shake off.
Hezbollah’s activities in Egypt have Iran’s fingerprints all over them. Two of the Hezbollah agents arrested in April worked for an Iranian tv channel broadcasting out of Cairo. Its offices were used by Hezbollah for secret meetings.
The government knows that Iran is the real enemy. Egyptian daily Al-Ahram quoted a senior official in Cairo saying that Iran was plotting to use Hezbollah to attack various targets across Egypt.
“The terror network is just part of the second stage of the Islamic revolution, whose goal is not only to take over Iran like in Khomeini’s days, but also to export the revolution to the Muslim countries of the region,” Marzouk stated.
“Iran has started pouring money into the Arab countries years ago, in a bid to establish ideological-religious infrastructure that would help topple the Sunni regimes” (op. cit.).
Now Egypt has had to act against Hezbollah for its national security. It shows how strong Iran’s influence has grown.
Over recent years, Egypt has shifted closer to Iran. Iran wants Egypt onside—either by cajoling it into forming an alliance or by replacing the regime with one more supportive of the Islamic revolution. By infiltrating Egypt with groups like Hezbollah, Tehran could compel Cairo to align more with Iran to avoid trouble—or it could use the group to help put an Islamist government in power.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is aging. If he died or was removed violently, it would be easy for the popular Muslim Brotherhood to take over. Should that happen, you could expect the Brotherhood to align Egypt with radical Iran.
For years, the Trumpet has warned that Egypt will ally with Iran just before the return of Christ. Daniel 11:40 prophesies that “at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind.” A pushy nation south of Europe will provoke a great northern European power. This nation is Iran—a nation constantly pushing against the world’s major powers. But then verse 42 lists Egypt as one of Iran’s allies. Our free booklet The King of the South explains this prophecy.
Iran’s infiltration of Egypt is a step on the road toward Christ’s return. The Bible shows that Egypt will soon be allied with Iran. Watch closely for this prophecy to be fulfilled.