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Sunday, October 10, 2004

Hate Like An Egyptian

Egyptian pundits are blaming the Taba terrorist attack on, drumroll please, you guessed it -- Israel: Israel To Benefit From Sinai Bombing: Experts. (Hat tip: LGF)

CAIRO, October 9 (IslamOnline.net) – A cohort of Egyptian security, political and diplomatic experts have concluded that Israel is the only party to benefit from the blasts that rocked tourist resorts in the Egyptian Sinai peninsula on Thursday, October 7, ruling out any possible Egyptian involvement.

Former Egyptian Assistant Interior Minister Mohammad Omar Abdel-Fattah said that while analyzing any such operation security experts should always seek an answer to the basic question of who stands to benefit.

At least 38 people, mostly Israeli tourists, were confirmed dead after a series of bomb attacks rocked the Hilton hotel in the Red Sea resort of Taba and another attack at a backpacker resort in Nuweiba, further south.

"Israel is the only party to gain from this operation," the international security expert told IslamOnline.net.

He pointed out that the Israelis and their agents are the only people who have free access to the targeted area.

Abdel-Fattah said the booby-trapped vehicles used in the bombings do not carry the trademark of terrorist groups who usually resort to suicide bombers instead.

He stressed that the Israeli right has been cornered due to mounting pressures from the US on Israeli Premier Ariel Sharon after Washington had to wield its veto power to kill a resolution condemning Israel for the onslaught on the Gaza Strip.

Israel needed something to dodge such American pressures and throw the ball at the American court till the end of the elections, said the expert.

Former Egyptian Assistant Foreign Minister Abdullah Al-Ashaal also agreed that several indications suggest an Israeli foul play.

"Israel’s ultimate goal is to undermine Egypt’s regional role and force it on its knees," he told IOL.

"All indicators suggest an Israeli involvement, especially that the area is very close to the Israeli borders."

He also recalled the recent Israeli travel warning against visiting the Sinai peninsula.

Al-Ashaal said that by jumping to heap the blame on Al-Qeada, Israel wanted to embroil Egypt in Washington’s so-called war on terror.

The Egyptian tourism sector, a main foreign currency earner, would bear the brunt of the bombings, he added.

Diaa Rashwan, an expert in the Islamic movements affairs in Al-Ahram Center for Strategic Studies, an Egyptian think-tank, also agreed that Al-Qaeda was not a likely culprit.

According to American intelligence 70 percent of Al-Qeada leaders have been either killed or napped while the rest are taking shelter on Afghanistan’s borders with Pakistan, he said.

"Sinai bombings carry the trademark of careful planning which means those involved had a hand-on experience on the area, which is already under tight security."

The expert suggested that "foreign intelligence" are directly or indirectly involved in such "dirty attacks."

Rashwan agreed with the other experts that Israel would be the only party to make gains from the attacks, especially that Israel would exploit them to associate itself with Washington in its so-called war on terror.

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