The suicide bombings in Sinai have triggered a wave of conspiracy theories in Egypt, where many believe Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the Jews were behind the attacks.
Several Egyptians interviewed over the past few days on Arab satellite stations said they did not believe Muslim terrorists were capable of launching such massive attacks. Most interviewees agreed Israel was the only beneficiary of the bombings and claimed once again that the Jews were behind the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington.
Egyptian journalist Nabil Sharif Eddin said numerous conspiracy theories about Israel's alleged role have flourished.
"Analyses based on conspiracy theories are spreading not only on the level of the man on the street, but also among political and intellectual circles," he said.
General (Ret.) Muhammad Abdel Fattah Omar, a former senior official with the Egyptian Ministry of Interior, which is responsible for the country's security services, was one of the first Egyptians to accuse Israel of masterminding the attacks.
"In each operation, we should first try to find out who benefits from it," he said. "Israel is the only party that benefits from the Sinai attacks. The Israelis and their agents are the only ones who are able to enter this area without difficulty."