This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Friday, November 06, 2015

"More Likely Than Not"

"The reason we acted ... is because of intelligence and information we had that gave us the concern that it was more likely than not that it was a terrorist bomb."
British Prime Minister David Cameron

"Some intelligence we can share, some we cannot. We have reached a conclusion. What we are sharing with our partners is our conclusion."
"I expect during the course of today you will see more and more of those partners looking at those conclusions, listening to our explanations, and deciding that they too want to take a precautionary approach."
"Of course this will have a huge negative impact for Egypt. But with respect to him [Abouzeid], he hasn't seen all the information that we have."
Philip Hammond, British Foreign Secretary

"It is genuinely shocking to think that the British government has some kind of information that could cast light on what happened in the skies above Egypt."
Maria Zakharova, chief spokesperson, Russian Foreign Ministry
Egyptian servicemen approaching a piece of wreckage of Russian MetroJet Airbus A321 at the site of the crash in Sinai, Egypt, 1 November.
  Russian experts are investigating pieces of debris in Moscow, officials say -- EPA

Egypt's plight is that of a country which has shaken off the mantle of Islamism by rejecting the presidency of the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, a year in which Mohammed Morsi demonstrated more than adequately that he did not represent the best interests of the eighty million Egyptians that he swore when taking office he would respect. Since then, and the ascension of Egyptian President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi, military-style rule has returned to Egypt.

The Muslim Brotherhood has incited its followers to attacks, it has brought its common interests with its offshoot Hamas, with Islamic Jihad, with the Salafist Bedouin in the Sinai, and now with Islamic State through Sinai Province, into play to render the Sinai Peninsula one huge geographical area steeped in violence with an agenda to raise the violence level, to engulf Egypt in a civil war. The Egyptian military has fought back, it has regained some control, but remains embattled.

And the Egyptian government has made gains in improving the dismal state of the Egyptian economy [with massive aid from Saudi Arabia], a large part of which is tourism which has suffered during the years of political and religious unrest. Now, that portion of the country's economy is once again reeling, prostate in the face of a volatile collapse of security which has targeted European tourists, but most markedly Russians.

In the wake of the Russian passenger jet tragedy, British intelligence has gone over its collected intelligence data with that proverbial fine-tooth comb. And in so doing has unearthed "chatter" leading to the surety that it was a bomb that brought down the Russian jet on Saturday and the death of 224 aboard. Officials feel now that a bomb had been smuggled into the hold of Flight 67K9268, concealed inside luggage.

The British government felt confident enough in their newly interpreted data to issue a statement yesterday to the effect that "some information that has been learned", pointing to a terror attack. MI5 and intelligence communications GCHQ and counterparts in the U.S. backed into communications passing between fanatics in the area, their trawl picking out "chatter" pointing to an imminent attack.

British security experts had been sent to Sharm el Sheikh airport ten months ago for the purpose of improving security there. The British government was cited by President Sisi as stating their satisfaction with the security alterations undertaken by the Egyptians; enhanced background checks on baggage handlers, an increase in security scanners for bags and suitcases.

Egypt's foreign ministry spokesman, Ahmed Abouzeid, stated that Britain's decision to suspend flights took place without consultation with Cairo. The move was seen as "premature and unwarranted", damaging to Egypt's tourism industry. The communications that had been intercepted between IS officials in Syria and the affiliate Sinai Province about how the jet had been brought down was convincing enough. "They were clearly celebrating."

Russia now appears convinced as well, recalling 50,000 of its nationals on holiday in Egypt, and suspending flights to Egypt. Are those 50,000 Russian holidayers meant to self-levitate to reach home?

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