Officials in Egypt say authorities have arrested three suspected al-Qaida-linked militants who were planning to carry out suicide attacks on vital installations and an unspecified foreign embassy.
Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim told a news conference Saturday that the men had been in contact with Dawood al-Assady, a leader of al-Qaida in southeast Asian countries. He said that the group was planning to attack government buildings and a foreign embassy. He did not say which one.
Ibrahim said one of the three men had received combat training by members of al-Qaida in Iran and Pakistan and also had connections with members of al-Qaida in Algeria.
The interior minister said authorities seized 10 kilograms of ammonium nitrate, a key ingredient in homemade explosives.
Security officials also discovered statements issued by al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, the group's arm in North Africa, on one of the men's computers. They also found information on how to make bombs and rockets.
The interior minister denied that al-Qaida is active in Egypt, saying the three men were in contact with al-Qaida militants abroad.