Egyptian authorities have arrested three Al-Qaeda-linked militants found with 22 pounds of explosives believed meant for a suicide attack on the US and French embassies there, according to state media.
“The investigations revealed that the suspects were intending to carry out terrorist bomb operations inside Egypt via suicide operations, penetrating the security cordon in front of the American and French embassies with a car bomb,” reported MENA, citing security sources over the weekend, said Reuters.
Agence France Press described it as a terror cell that had "plotted attacks" against the two embassies.
The US embassy in Cairo responded by advising Americans to have "elevated awareness" given last week's attack on a US citizen and news of the planned militant attack, said NBC News.
“The knife attack on the Embassy's perimeter, along with weekend media reports acknowledging that Egyptian authorities have disrupted a terror cell possibly targeting Egyptian and Western interests, serve as yet another reminder of the need to exercise good situational awareness,” read the embassy statement obtained by NBC.
The three Egyptian men taken into custody had reportedly escaped from jail two years ago, taking advantage of the lawlessness that brought about the overthrow of longtime leader Hosni Mubarak.
At the time of their arrest, authorities said the men were in contact with Dawood al-Assady, an al Qaeda leader in Southeast Asia.
One had spent time in Algeria and the other in Iran, according to MENA, adding that the French intervention in Mali was the believed motive for the plot against the French embassy in Cairo.
Authorities found information on one of the men's computers on how to build a bomb, collect intelligence, and a statement from al Qaeda's North African cell - the Islamic Maghreb.
No additional information was immediately available.