Tag Archive: Sinai Peninsula

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Israel provided intel on suspected bomb on Russian jet — report

Debris from the A321 Russian airliner at the site of the crash in Wadi el-Zolomat, a mountainous area in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, on November 1, 2015. (AFP/Khaled Desouki)

Debris from the A321 Russian airliner at the site of the crash in Wadi el-Zolomat, a mountainous area in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, on November 1, 2015. (AFP/Khaled Desouki)

Israel provided intelligence regarding the Russian plane crash in the Sinai Peninsula, which indicated that a bomb had detonated on board, CNN reported on Sunday.

An unnamed US official and diplomatic source said that Jerusalem handed over information about the blast to the US and UK. One US official told the news outlet he was “99.9% certain” the plane had been bombed, while another said it was “likely.”

Israeli officials declined to comment on the report.

Earlier, a member of the Egyptian investigation team said they were nearly certain explosives had brought the plane down, killing all 224 passengers on board.

“The indications and analysis so far of the sound on the black box indicate it was a bomb,” an investigator — who asked to not be identified — told Reuters. “We are 90 percent sure it was a bomb.”

As for the slim chance of another explanation to the crash, the investigator only commented, “I can’t discuss this now.”

US and British officials have cited intelligence reports indicating that the October 31 flight from the Sinai resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg was brought down by a bomb on the plane.

Most of the passengers were from St. Petersburg and the surrounding region.


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Airbus A321 crash site in Egypt

A321 Crash Investigators Call on Media to Stop Using Anonymous Sources

© Sputnik/ Maxim Grigoryev


19:21 08.11.2015(updated 19:33 08.11.2015) Get short URL

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — While covering the developments related to the Russian A321 plane crash in Egypt, media should rely exclusively on official statements, while any “uncertain” sources should be avoided, the head of the Egypt-led investigation committee said on Sunday.

On Saturday, the Egypt-led investigation committee issued a statement, according to which the reason for the Russian Kogalymavia plane crash in Sinai is yet to be determined. The following day, Reuters reported, citing a unidentified member of the inquiry, that investigators into the plane crash in Egypt were “90 percent sure” the noise heard on the final seconds of a cockpit recording was an explosion caused by a bomb.

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Servicemen gather passengers' belongings on the crash site of the Airbus A321 that was carrying out Kogalymavia Flight 9268 from Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg, 100 km south of El Arish in the northern Sinai Peninsula. © Maxim Grigoryev
The search and recovery operation continues in Egypt’s Sinai after a Russian passenger plane crashed there, killing all 224 people on board Saturday. Russian and Egyptian investigators are looking into the causes of the tragedy.
  • 08 November 2015

    13:13 GMT

  • 13:12 GMT

    Investigators of the jet crash are “90 percent sure” that the noise heard in the final moments of the cockpit recording was a bomb exploding, a member of the investigation team told Reuters.

  • 09:32 GMT

    Emirates Airlines expects the plane tragedy will result in demands for stringent aviation security across the globe, the airline’s president, Tim Clark said, as cited by Reuters.

  • 09:27 GMT

    The luggage of Russian tourists who arrive from Egypt is undergoing stricter than usual checks, said Igor Pedan, an official from UTG aviation services, which maintains Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport.

    “The procedure was non-standard, I can say,” he said. “All luggage was sent to a special zone, [it] was checked by cynologists [dog-handlers] with [sniffer] dogs, the luggage was checked by special equipment and only then was transferred to a clear zone, for passengers to pick it up, ” he added.


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Unclear ‘noise’ recorded before A321 crash, its nature to be determined – Egypt’s investigators

The Russian A321’s black box recorded an unclear noise before crashing in Sinai, the head of Egypt’s investigation committee has confirmed. However, spectral analysis is required to determine its nature.

The head of the Investigations Committee, Captain Ayman Mokadem, said the nature of debris scatter suggests an in-flight break up, but it is still too early to draw conclusions on the causes of the crash. While both flight data recorders have been found, the investigators are still studying them.

Mokadem confirmed that some “noise” can be heard on the recording right before the crash. He still said its nature is unclear and a spectral analysis will be carried out to identify it.

An international team of investigators are at the scene still “collecting information,” he said.

Ayman el Mokadem says there are 47 investigators into Metrojet crash – 29 from egypt, 7 russia, France 6, Germany 2 – Ireland 3

According to the flight data recorders, the incident occurred 23 minutes and 14 seconds after takeoff at an altitude of 30,888 feet in climbing mode, at a speed of 281 knots-autopilot engaged, he said.

The investigators have listened to the audio from the cockpit voice recorder and are currently in the phase of writing the transcript, he added.

Access to the crash site has been impeded by bad weather since Tuesday, he said. An investigation team consisting of 58 experts plan to return to the site as soon as weather conditions improve in the next few days.



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Wednesday brought a veritable smorgasbord of “new” information about the Russian passenger jet which fell out of the sky above the Sinai Peninsula last weekend.

First there was an audio recording from ISIS’ Egyptian affiliate reiterating that they did indeed “down” the plane. Next, the ISIS home office in Raqqa (or Langley or Hollywood) released a video of five guys sitting in the front yard congratulating their Egyptian “brothers” on the accomplishment.

Then the UK grounded air traffic from Sharm el-Sheikh noting that the plane “may well” have had an “explosive device” on board.

Finally, US media lit up with reports that according to American “intelligence” sources, ISIS was probably responsible for the crash.

Over the course of the investigation, one question that’s continually come up is whether militants could have shot the plane down. Generally speaking, the contention that ISIS (or at least IS Sinai) has the technology and/or the expertise to shoot down a passenger jet flying at 31,000 feet has been discredited by “experts” and infrared satellite imagery.

But that’s nothing the CIA can’t fix.

With the Pentagon now set to deploy US ground troops to Syria (and indeed they may already be there, operating near Latakia no less), Washington is reportedly bolstering the supply lines to “moderate” anti-regime forces at the urging of (guess who) the Saudis and Erdogan.

Incredibly, some of the weapons being passed out may be shoulder-fire man-portable air-defense systems, or Manpads, capable of hitting civilian aircraft. 



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All passengers dead’ as Russian airliner crashes in Egypt’s Sinai

Published: 22:45 October 31, 2015

November 1, 2015 | Last updated 4 minutes ago



All passengers on the Russian flight from Egypt died when the plane crashed in the Sinai peninsula Saturday, the Russian embassy said in a statement

  • Egypt PM Sherif Ismail (R) at the site of the wreckage of a crashed Russian airliner in HassanaImage Credit: AFP
  • Emergency workers unload bodies of victims from the crash of a Russian aircraft from a police helicopter.Image Credit: AP
  • Relatives react at Pulkovo international airport outside Saint Petersburg after a Russian plane with 224 peoplImage Credit: AFP
  • Relatives react after a Russian airliner crashed
    Relatives react after a Russian airliner crashed, as people gather at an information desk in Russia.Image Credit: AP

Paris: Air France and Lufthansa said Saturday they will stop flying over Egypt’s Sinai peninsula after a Russian passenger plane went down in the area with the loss of all 224 people on board.

The airlines said they were taking the measure as a precaution while the cause of the Russian crash was investigated.

The Daesh affiliate in Egypt has said it downed the plane, without saying how, but Russia’s transport minister said the claim “cannot be considered accurate” and an Egyptian security official said the plane did not crash because of an attack.

An Air France spokesperson told AFP they would not fly over Sinai until further notice, “as a precaution” while “clarification” was sought over why the Russian charter plane crashed.

Lufthansa told the German newspaper Die Welt it was taking the same measure for the same reason.

Military experts have told AFP that Daesh terrorists in Sinai do not have weapons capable of hitting an aircraft at 30,000 feet (9,000 metres), the altitude of the airliner when it lost contact.

But they have not ruled out a bomb on board or the possibility that the plane was hit by a rocket as it descended because of technical problems.

A senior Egyptian air traffic control official said the pilot of the Airbus A321 told him in their last communication that he had radio trouble.


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Sat Oct 31, 2015 6:43PM
Egypt's Prime Minister Sherif Ismail looks at the remains of a Russian airliner after it crashed in central Sinai near El Arish city, north Egypt, October 31, 2015. (Reuters Photo)

Egypt’s Prime Minister Sherif Ismail looks at the remains of a Russian airliner after it crashed in central Sinai near El Arish city, north Egypt, October 31, 2015. (Reuters Photo)


Moscow and Cairo have denied claims by the Daesh Takfiri group’s Egyptian affiliate to have downed a Russian aircraft that crashed in North Sinai with more than 200 passengers on board.

“Now in various media there is assorted information that the Russian passenger (plane)… was supposedly shot down by an anti-aircraft missile, fired by terrorists. This information can’t be considered accurate,” Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov said on Saturday.

“We are in close contact with our Egyptian colleagues and aviation authorities in the country. At present, they have no information that would confirm such insinuations,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Samir, Egypt’s army spokesman, also refuted the claim by the Takfiri group, saying that “the army sees no authenticity” to the terrorists claims or videos.

“They can put out whatever statements they want but there is no proof at this point that terrorists were responsible for this plane crash” he said.

“We will know the true reasons when the civil aviation authority in coordination with Russian authorities completes its investigation,” he added.

An Egyptian soldier and rescue crew transfer the body of a victim of a plane crash, from a civil police helicopter to an ambulance at Kabrit airport in Suez, east of Cairo, Egypt, October 31, 2015. (Photo by Reuters)


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Terrorists, non-state actors had no capacity to down Russian plane, security & aviation experts say

Egypt's Prime Minister Sherif Ismail looks at the remains of a Russian airliner after it crashed in central Sinai near El Arish city, north Egypt, October 31, 2015. © Reuters
While the investigation into the causes of the Russian passenger jet crash over the Sinai Peninsula continues, civil aviation and security experts agree that theories that the plane was downed by a militant group can be ruled out, despite terrorists making such claims.

All 224 people on board the Kolavia airline’s flight from resort area Sharm El-Sheikh to Russia’s St. Petersburg died after the aircraft crashed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Saturday. Experts are still decoding the flight recorders, and the Russian Air Transport Agency has said that there is no point in hypothesizing about the cause of the crash until there is reliable data on the circumstances.

LIVE UPDATES: Russian passenger jet crashes over Sinai

While Islamic State jihadist group allegedly claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it downed the Airbus A321 as retaliation for Russia’s airstrikes against terrorist targets in Syria, aviation and security experts believe it to be highly unlikely.

“As far as it’s known, Islamic State and its affiliate groups don’t have the capability to bring down aircraft flying at the height that this aircraft reportedly was, which is something around 10,000 meters,” security analyst and former UK counter-terrorism officer Charles Shoebridge told RT.


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Egyptian soldiers in the capital, Cairo (20 February 2014) Judges accused the defendants of inciting violence against the army and police



An Egyptian court has sentenced 26 people to death for founding a “terror group” with the aim of attacking ships using the Suez Canal.


Judges said the men were also accused of manufacturing missiles and explosives, local media report.


The defendants were tried in absentia, Reuters news agency says.


The sentencing comes a day after the new Prime Minister designate, Ibrahim Mahlab, vowed he would “crush terrorism in all the corners of the country”.


Mr Mahlab has been put in charge of forming a new government following Monday’s surprise resignation of interim Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi and his cabinet.


Mr Beblawi was appointed in July 2013 after the military overthrew President Mohammed Morsi in the wake of mass protests.


Since then, more than 1,000 people have been killed and thousands of others detained in a crackdown by the security forces on the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement to which Mr Morsi belongs.


Militants based in the Sinai peninsula have meanwhile stepped up attacks on government, police and the armed forces, killing hundreds.

‘Harmed unity’

In Wednesday’s verdict, the court said the accused had harmed “national unity”, inciting violence against the army, police, and Christians.


The case will now be referred to the mufti, Egypt’s top Islamic official, who has to validate the sentence.


The final verdict is expected on 19 March.


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Fertile locusts swarm into Israel on Passover eve

Arriving with Biblically resonant timing, latest arrivals are ready to reproduce

By March 24, 2013, 6:38 pm 24
 The Times  Of Israel
A TV reporter holds up one of the yellow locusts that landed in southern Israel on Sunday (photo credit: image capture from Channel 2)

The pests hit fields and greenhouses in the south; the Agriculture Ministry was working to prevent heavy damage to crops in the Negev and stop the insects from penetrating deeper into the country.

Unlike previous swarms that have entered Israel in the past month, the locusts that hit Israel Sunday are yellow and fertile and, in this stage of their metamorphosis, pose less risk to crops because they eat significantly less. Once the insects lay eggs and they hatch, however, Israeli farmers will face the threat of this wave’s insatiable brood, who will eat anything green in their path.

The new swarm hit Israel on the eve of the Passover festival, which marks the Israelites redemption from slavery in ancient Egypt, achieved after Egypt’s Pharaoh was hit by 10 divinely ordered plagues — the eighth of which was locusts.

At the start of the month the ministry launched a major crop-dusting campaign to combat earlier swarms.

The ministry said at the time it feared warm weather would see additional locusts cross the border from the Sinai Peninsula, fears that were realized on Sunday.

In Egypt swarms of locusts, numbering hundreds of millions of insects, have recently been spotted over the Sinai, east of El Arish. Authorities there were facing difficulties eradicating the pests due to a failure in one of the main water pipes to the city.


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Egypt sentences 14 Islamists to death for 2011 Sinai attack

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Mursi has ordered a fight against Islamist militants in Sinai after a deadly ambush that killed 16 Egyptian troops. (Reuters)

Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Mursi has ordered a fight against Islamist militants in Sinai after a deadly ambush that killed 16 Egyptian troops. (Reuters)

By Al Arabiya With AFP

An Egyptian court handed on Tuesday dead sentences to 14 Islamist militants for involvement in a 2011 attack that killed seven people at a bank and a police station in the Sinai Peninsula, scene of mounting violence near the border with Israel.

The court in the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya convicted the 14 of carrying out the attacks in June and July last year on behalf of the hardline group Tawhid wal Jihad (Monotheism and Holy War).

One civilian was among the dead.

The court ruling came as Egyptian security forces continue to hunt militants in Sinai following an August 5 attack on an army outpost which killed 16 soldiers.

The army has strengthened its presence in Sinai, sending helicopters and tanks in pursuit of Islamist extremists believed to be behind the August 5 attack.

On Sunday, Egyptian security forces killed six gunmen in a raid on a north Sinai village, witnesses said.

Security officials said they found chemicals used to make explosives, rocket-propelled grenades and machineguns with the militants in El-Jurah village. One of the gunmen was seriously wounded, they said.

In the wake of the attack on the army outpost, President Mohamed Morsi dismissed his powerful defence minister, replaced his spy chief and sacked top security and political officials in the Sinai.

He also scrapped a constitutional document that gave the military legislative and other powers.


Politics, Legislation and  Economy



Published on Aug 11, 2012 by

Egypt’s ‘wild west’ has descended into chaos according to the Military Council and newly Elected President Mohammed Morsi following deadly border attacks. However, residents of the border towns express lawlessness has been a way of life for them in a region where the police fled after the revolution. Some tell TRNN off camera the military offensive will do nothing to ensure security and stability.

The Egyptian government temporally opened the border for a few hours on Thursday and Friday to mostly Palestinian pilgrims returning from Saudi Arabia. As of Saturday, the border was closed it indefinitely.

The state media has hyped up the offensive as a national sensation, garnering the support of Egyptians sympathetic to the fallen soldiers. However, many residents in the border towns express to TRNN the attacks seem more of a charade as similar attacks have consistently plagued northern Sinai since the revolution.

NOTE: Some of this video was secretly filmed as TRNN was denied access to shot the military and police.

Special thanks to the generous and friendly people of al-Arish, Sheik Zuwaid, and Rafah.

Video shot by Jihan Hafiz and Mohammed Gamal

More news at http://therealnews.com

Published on Aug 11, 2012 by

Unknown gunmen have killed 16 border security guards and injured several others in Egypt near the Sinai border with Israel. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas say Israeli spy agency Mossad was behind the weekend attack. The Muslim Brotherhood pointed to Tel Aviv’s travel advisory requesting its citizens to leave the Sinai Peninsula, which was issued a few days before the deadly incident occurred.

However, Israeli and Egyptian military officials say gunmen from the besieged Gaza Strip were behind the attack. Morsi has pledged to strongly respond to the “cowardly attacks,” vowing that the assailants would pay dearly for the deadly attacks. In this edition of the show we ask: Are the transformations in the region to the benefit of Israel?