Tuesday, November 17, 2015

#RussianPlane : Moscow says it is a bomb while Cairo says it is too early to say anything

And we woke up early Tuesday to find Russia announcing officially that what brought down the Russian airliner in Sinai was a bomb.
Putin and his men at the meeting which was filmed
"Kremlin website" 

In Moscow, we found out that President Putin held a meeting on the crash of the Russian airliner. with the head of Federal Security Service “FSB” Director Alexander Bortnikov.
Bortnikov announced in the meeting that through examining the passengers’ personal belongings and luggage and fragments of the plane that crashed in Sinai, traces of foreign-made explosives were found.
According to the FSB experts, “ self-made explosive device equivalent up to 1 kg of TNT was set off on board”
In other direct word, it was a terrorist act according to the Russian government.
From his side, El-Sisi’s best friend vowed to “find the perpetrators anywhere on the planet and punish them”. He also added that Russia “will act in compliance with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, which envisages the right of a state to self-defence.”
This is what article 51 of the United Nations charter says:
Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.
Does the right of the self-defence of Russia stops in Russia and the ISIS stronghold there or will it be extended to include Sinai as well ?? This is the question of the hour in Egypt.
Of course that meeting which was filmed for the Russian public to show much Putin cared for his people, that means Putin already knew about the findings of FSB hours earlier and his words were prepared carefully.
I do not know if the Egyptian ambassador in Moscow was informed by those results prior to that meeting or not but if he did not then we will be having a bigger problem.
The Russians also announced a US$ 50 million for anyone with information about the perpetrators.
It is worth to mention that ISIS-affiliated and North Sinai-based Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis “ABM” aka Sinai province claimed responsibility for the attack without giving any details on how they did it.
After an hour or even less from this announcement, we found Reuters reporting that according to security officials in Egypt, 17 Sharm El-Sheikh airport staff were detained including 2 men  “Ground crew” suspected to be involved in planting the bomb on the board of the plane.
The report including this very interesting detail quoting unnamed Egyptian security official.
The second security official said CCTV footage showed a baggage handler carrying a suitcase from an airport building to another man, who was loading luggage onto the doomed airliner from beneath the plane on the runway.
So allegedly, that was how the bomb was planted onto the airliner.

Personally, I thought that ISIS had some lone wolf from Russia or Chechen who came to Sharm El-Sheikh and got the explosives from ABM so he could carry it back to the plane. I thought about that especially when ISIS refused to reveal how it did it.
Only then, we found the ministry of interior issuing a statement denying that any worker or employee was detained at Sharm El-Sheikh.
نفى مسئول مركز الإعلام الأمنى ما تناقلته بعض وسائل الإعلام حول إحتجاز موظفين فى مطار شرم الشيخ يشتبه بأنهما ساعدا فى زرع قنبله على متن الطائرة الروسية .. مؤكداً أن هذا الخبر عارٍ تماماً عن الصحة جملة وتفصيلاً .
Posted by ‎الصفحة الرسمية لوزارة الداخلية‎ on Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Following that, we had to wait for the Egyptian government to issue a statement regarding the Russian Statement

Press Release by the Cabinet of MinistersOn the Russian Plane CrashThe Arab Republic of Egypt appreciates and stands...
Posted by Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Well after hours of meeting at Sharm El-Sheikh to prove its safe, the cabinet issued a statement that technically did not say anything new. 

It said that the Egyptian-led investigations committee has not reached yet to any evidence indicating any criminal intention. The government added that the investigations committee would take in consideration the Russian announcement.
PM Sherif Ismail also announced that he held talks with Russian officials regarding the return of the Russian tourists !!!!!!!
I do not know what to say.

Anyhow those were not the strangest news and statements only today because Tuesday evening, we found a strange a statement issued from the presidency.
Yes, the Presidency issued a short statement published on State-owned MENA denying the involvement of Presidency staff in the crash of Russian airliner !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It turned out  some tabloid Lebanese news website claimed that Pro-ISIS/MB presidency staffers were involved in the crash online.
Ironically, this statement fueled the rumors mill in Cairo.

Now to the important matters.
The world believes Russia now and deals with the bombing of the Russian airliner as a fact.
Unfortunately, the world won’t trust the Egyptian government or regime and it is not about the Western conspiracy against Egypt.

It is about the lack of confidence due to the incompetence of the Egyptian government as it seems.
It is about the late reaction of the government.

The Egyptian-led investigation committee did not hold a press conference except after one week, technically saying nothing more than what was already known in the media.

In similar circumstances around the world, the Airplane crash investigation committees hold a press conference every couple of days and send press statements with updates to journalists and to the whole world in a timely manner.

I am afraid the current administration in Egypt deals with the Russian plane crash just like any other disaster in Egypt.

It seems that does not understand the implications of such incident now in the world, not to mention in the Middle East with all the craziness of the War on terrorism that changed in two weeks the international alliances and we find Russia playing best friends with the West once again.

If it is truly a bomb then we are in front of a huge fiasco for security in Egypt.

If it is truly a bomb as professionally speaking we are still waiting for the investigation committee then we are having a huge security and intelligence failure in Egypt despite that war on terrorism we have had for three years,those terrorism-related laws and that crackdown against freedoms for the sake of stability and for fear not to be like Syria or Iraq.

Now I am thinking about the price the people of Sinai are going to pay.
I am extremely worried.


  1. It's downright strange how news comes across ? that there is CCTV evidence pointing to a baggage handler carrying a piece of luggage, but then nothing except a declaration of Sharm being absolutely safe and Egypt secure. Perhaps the CCTV evidence like so much these days in Egypt smacks of "you are guilty even without a thorough investigation". How does one prove a negative. You cannot. Perhaps if they stopped releasing info ahead of time which then spreads rumor instead of fact the people could calm down more and everyone would be better off. When there is a tragic event like the Russian airline event or the plane that disappeared over the Indian Ocean its always best to wait until you know for certain rather then point fingers here and there. Sometimes rumors which were just that after all are still repeated 50 years later by another generation.

    Thanks as usual for your fine and thorough report.


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