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Updated: Sinai bombs kill 88+

by Sirocco Sat Jul 23rd, 2005 at 01:07:29 AM EST

Update [2005-7-23 12:36:43 by Sirocco]: BBC News:

In a statement posted on an Islamic website, a group calling itself the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, al-Qaeda, in Syria and Egypt, said it carried out the bombings, the AP news agency reported, although the claim has not been verified.

The bombings happened at the height of the summer tourist season in Sharm al-Sheikh, and coincided with an extended holiday weekend to mark the anniversary of the 1952 Egyptian revolution.

It was the first such attack since last October, when 34 people died in car and truck bomb attacks at Red Sea resorts on the eastern coast of the Sinai Peninsula.

The previous worst attack in Egypt occurred in 1997, when Islamic militants killed 58 foreign tourists and four Egyptians near the southern city of Luxor.

Tourism is Egypt's most lucrative industry, worth about $6.6bn a year.

More coverage:

TIME Online
The New York Times
Al Jazeera.com

/update


Terrorists strike in popular Sinai resort, reports AP via The Guardian:

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Three car bombs exploded in quick succession in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik early Saturday, ripping through a hotel and a cafe packed with European and Egyptian tourists. Security officials said at least 45 people died in the deadliest attack in Egypt in nearly a decade.

[snip]

The dead included British, Russian, Dutch, Kuwaitis, Saudis, Qataris and Egyptians, a security official said. The officials, including the one in the crisis control center, were speaking on condition of anonymity because they were giving information not yet included in the official statement.

The attacks came nine months after a series of explosions hit several hotels in the Sinai resorts of Taba and Ras Shitan, about 100 miles northwest on the Israel border. Egyptian authorities said that attack, which killed 34 and prompted a wave of arrests in Sinai, was linked to Israeli-Palestinian violence.

Note that unlike in the last bout of attacks, Israelis do not seem to have been primary targets. This could yet be the handiwork of Gaza radicals. But it may also be the work of the Egyptian revolutionaries with whom Mubarak's regime is locked in endless strife, and who for years have placed Middle Egypt off-limits for tourists.

Either way, this probably means a new round of 'the Problem,' as the locals call it. Like in 1997 and 2001, millions of poor people will be rendered destitute when the cancellations start trickling in.

So if you want to show solidarity, consider being on lookout for discount tickets. I did so in November 2001 - and had the time of my life.

Display:
Dear god.

But what great reporting by you, Sirocco.  Thank you.

Is there any reason this happens in Egypt?  or is it just the mad theory that blood and mayhem are destabilizing forces?

by susanhu (susanhuatearthlinkdotnet) on Sat Jul 23rd, 2005 at 01:11:59 AM EST
Well, I guess it still isn't known who did it.

But Egypt has for decades been a hotbed for Islamistic extremism. The infamous Islamic Brotherhood, which assassinated Sadat in 1981, is Egyptian, as was its founder and ideologue, Sayyid Qutb. Much of what we think of as al-Qaeda has roots in Egypt, including 'bin Laden's deputy' al Zawahiri, whose group Egyptian Islamic Jihad merged with al-Qaeda in February 1998.

Their goal is to overthrow Mubarak's pragmatic and fairly liberal regime, which to them is the nadir of organized apostasy.

Presumably it also bugs them that Egypt is the USA's foremost Arab client state and the principal recipient of US 'aid' next to Israel, with which it has a peace treaty.

Widespread poverty and rampant unemployment due to a stagnant economy helps fostering the social conditions for discontent. Egypt has a huge (80 million?) population, much of which is very young, and as in the rest of the ME, urbanization   tends to uproot people from traditions and community, driving some of them into the arms of radicals. But the majority are, or at least used to be, quite pro-US.

When that fluke plane crash hit New York, I watched it on TV with a bunch of Egyptians. Obviously everyone assumed it was terrorism and were totally devastated.

Post-Iraq, of course, the mood may be different.

The world's northernmost desert wind.

by Sirocco (sirocco2005ATgmail.com) on Sat Jul 23rd, 2005 at 01:30:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
.
  • BREAKING! Sharm el-Sheik - 4 Car Bombs - 36 dead
        ◊
    by Oui ● Fri Jul 22nd, 2005 at 05:38:03 PM PDT

    The terror spreads also to Muslim nations participating in rebuilding Iraq under US occupation.

    FOUR CAR BOMBS EXPLODE IN
    SHARM EL-SHEIK - EGYPT
    36 persons killed more than 100 wounded

    Latest News - Egypt Blasts Kill 36

    #

    Egypt Blasts Kill at Least 36, Wound more than 100

    CAIRO, Egypt - As many as seven explosions struck the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula early Saturday, targeting several hotels and killing at least 25 people, witnesses and police said.
    Saturday's explosions at 1:15 a.m., when many tourists would have been asleep, shook windows a mile away. Smoke and fire rose from Naama Bay, a main strip of beach hotels in the desert city popular with Israeli and European tourists, witnesses said.

    A police official in Sharm el-Sheik said at least 25 were killed, and 110 wounded in multiple explosions targeting the Ghazala Gardens and Movenpick hotels in Naama Bay and the Old Market area nearby. Other officials in Sharm said there may have been as many as seven blasts: three in Naama Bay and four in the market.


    Amal Mustafa, 28, an Egyptian who was visiting with her family, said she drove by the Ghazala Garden -- a 176-room four-star resort on the main tourist strip in Naama -- and it was "completely burned down, destroyed."

    Khaled Sakran, a resident, said he saw one explosion from the Old Market. "I saw the saw the fire in the sky," he told The Associated Press. "Right after, I saw a light in the sky and heard another explosion, coming from Naama Bay."

    [36 persons died according to news reports - Ed]

    Satellite Photo Egypt - Sharm el-Sheik

    SEE DIARY BY SIROCCO!

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  • London Bombing Diaries @ BooMan Tribune
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    'Sapere aude'
  • by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jul 23rd, 2005 at 01:32:53 AM EST
    .
    Re: BREAKING! (none / 1)

    The Iraq war has unleashed Pandora's Box of Horrors and when will it stop? Are we safer yet, george.

    "People never do evil so throughly and happily as when they do it from moral conviction."-Blaise Pascal
    by chocolate ink on Fri Jul 22nd, 2005 at 05:53:27 PM PDT

    Satellite Photo Egypt  
    .
    PANDORA'S BOX - the exact words used by Jordan's King Abdullah and Egypt's President Mubarak.

    Sharm el-Sheik
    George and Cheney preferred to listen to the advise of democrat and friend PM Sharon.

    Yasser Salihee - Reporter Murdered :: Story He Died For
    by Oui on Fri Jul 22nd, 2005 at 06:09:13 PM PDT

    ~~~

  • London Bombing Diaries @ EuroTrib
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    'Sapere aude'
  • by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jul 23rd, 2005 at 01:48:37 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Yeah, I strongly doubt this is Hamas or Islamic Jihad. The way of doing business is all too familiar.

    The world's northernmost desert wind.
    by Sirocco (sirocco2005ATgmail.com) on Sat Jul 23rd, 2005 at 01:51:29 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Billmon (www.billmon.org) notes that the bombings took place on the anniversary of the nationalist revolution in Egypt (which brought Nasser to power) and suggests it is significant.

    Also note that the obvious target is the Egyptian economy, via tourism.

    In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

    by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Jul 23rd, 2005 at 05:33:10 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    My wife and I were in Egypt this spring, and many, many people have work related to the tourism industry. If someone wants to seriously impact the Egyptian economy (as well as the world economy...airlines, hotels, etc.), this is one "effective" way of doing it. As my wife is a travel agent, we awoke to this news with a great deal of trepidation...she now has to go to work and deal with many cancellations and change of plans. Fall in the Red Sea is HUGE...it is pretty always sold out. Huge bummer. Yes...if people want to show some solidarity to the Egyptian people, go to the Red Sea this fall (and there will be deals).

    "Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
    by whataboutbob on Sat Jul 23rd, 2005 at 02:03:34 AM EST
    I wonder how quickly the deals will be out - do you suppose within a week or two?

    I'm already thinking about going and heading up to Cairo.

    The world's northernmost desert wind.

    by Sirocco (sirocco2005ATgmail.com) on Sat Jul 23rd, 2005 at 02:07:34 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I will be able to tell you real soon. It will be interesting to see just how tourists react on this.

    "Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
    by whataboutbob on Sat Jul 23rd, 2005 at 04:20:40 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    .
    Strange how hysteria catches the masses.

    Useful signal on the asset markets, stocks et al recently with London 7/7 bombings for buying opportunity of specific corporation stocks.

    Family made effort to spend two weeks in New York city, people in hotels, theaters had faced massive lay offs. Satisfaction came with warm NY welcome and the fancy LOW prices - wow.

    ~~~

  • London Bombing Diaries @ EuroTrib
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    'Sapere aude'
  • by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jul 23rd, 2005 at 03:02:05 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Latest updates on this event are now saying at least 65 people have been killed. Citizens continue to be targeted in all these recent attacks...what's the message?

    "Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
    by whataboutbob on Sat Jul 23rd, 2005 at 04:48:47 AM EST
    .
    Noticed months ago a slight separation with OBL.

    Al Zawahiri with his Egyptian anger is still focused on damaging Egypt's regime of Mubarak and the European assets throughout the Arab world. There is definite coordination in the attacks, at minimum a mastermind in design.

    Makes use of the state of denial by George Bush, Tony Blair, their respective administrations and electorate who support their regimes and keep these men in power. Staying the course is easiest for the enemy to plan their tactical warfare. The Madrid and London bombing is part of the Iraq/Afghanistan war and the increased support for AQ and OBL throughout the Muslim world. Blair is behind the curve, attempting to open lines to the UK Muslim community, years too late and with wrong attitude and knowledge of the Muslims fractional community.

    My previous analysis of the Hofstad group in The Netherlands is proof of the difficulties ahead. The Dutch purple administration of PM Wim Kok spoke regularly during eight years to the 50+ Muslim leaders in the Netherlands. The administration of JP Balkenende came to power and checked the community support of these leaders and completely changed the organization of these talks to be effective. These so called leaders had little or no support at all within any community of Dutch Muslims. Effort should be bottom-up and not top-down, spend time and funds with social programs and job opportunity for the youth.

    The Madrid attacks became a political success when Aznar tied to put blame on ETA for electoral gain, which backfired and put the opposition in power. Zapatero fulfilled his elections promises and has been open to the Muslim community in Spain.

    The European affiliate of Al Zawahiri's AQ is much more aggressive and will know no bounds. I suspect their aim will soon be a European leader of a nation or within the EU/NATO of Brussel. AQ will search for soft, easy targets and risk free attack with large impact. These words are not my own, but the analysis of former US Ambassador to Kenya, Prudence Bushnell. She suffered the August 7, 1998 attacks in Nairobi at 10:38 hours - 220 dead and 5,000 casualties combined with the Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania suicide bombing. The 9/11 for the people of East-Africa :: the American death toll was 12 persons and State Department made no funds available for embassy security in critical regions.

    Tony Blair did not understand the impact of these bombings as precursor of what was to come. The origin was known - Osama Bin Laden - in Afghanistan, whose AQ group was attacked with missiles, but not hurt. The missile on Sudan was perhaps a stray, but OBL had been a resident of Sudan for years.

    Tony Blair keeps fooling himself and the UK people through his eloquent speeches, and camouflage of his utter failures in foreign policy. The terror will creep towards the European continent and the support for AQ affiliates will deepen in Muslim communities within a matter of weeks, not months or years. Through Blair's decisions in Iraq, he keeps feeding the beast called terror. Blair promised to make progress in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict as he pursued his goals in Iraq, he has failed miserably in both endeavors.

    ~~~

  • London Bombing Diaries @ BooMan Tribune
    ~~~

    'Sapere aude'
  • by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jul 23rd, 2005 at 05:37:31 AM EST
    In the U.S., NPR has been doing a great job this morning keeping us informed -- they even brought in Daniel Schorr to comment -- but otherwise we're not getting many reports.

    Please keep us posted on the latest.  I'm going to link this diary on the home page of BooTrib so people have access to your great comments here.

    by susanhu (susanhuatearthlinkdotnet) on Sat Jul 23rd, 2005 at 11:31:46 AM EST
    Thanks. I just made a comment in Oui's diary over at BT that CNN is just continuing with its regular programming. 88 people are dead in Egypt. When the London attacks occured, CNN was all over it, all the time. I am not impressed - to say the least.
    by catnip (llamg88 at hotmail.com) on Sat Jul 23rd, 2005 at 02:29:09 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I read about this last night here and expected to wake up this morning to have this latest horror being covered extensively...well color me stupid..but this isn't a big news story on cable news here..the sorry ass bastards..I just looked over at Headline News and they were talking about...gasp...people wearing flip-flops to the White House...no doubt flip-flops may be some sort of secret device that could blow up the whole place right..I'm sorry for rambling but I am really pissed off and disgusted...more than usual at our fucked up news priorities here. I don't even have to state the obvious that in London it was 'white' people being attacked and of course Egypt isn't 'white'..so it's not as important.

    "People never do evil so throughly and happily as when they do it from moral conviction."-Blaise Pascal
    by chocolate ink on Sat Jul 23rd, 2005 at 03:00:55 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The sad...and ironic thing...is that it now is being announced that all but about 8 of those killed were tourists from Middle Eastern countries (including many from Egypt). Interestingly, also, many of the Swiss tourists that are there, are staying on. Also, yesterday, my wife went to her travel agency dreading a rash of cancellations and changed plans...but instead, many people came into book longer trips, and only one cancellation. People are refusing to be afraid, it would seem.

    "Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
    by whataboutbob on Sun Jul 24th, 2005 at 05:32:38 AM EST
    On TV here in France, they showed more tourists "scared to death" and desperate to leave the plae than staying on, as well as the stultifying speeches from officials advising to be "prudent" or "careful", whatever that entails...

    They did show one guy who said he was more likely to die in a car accident, so not everybody is falling for it...

    In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

    by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Jul 24th, 2005 at 08:06:19 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Great news for Egypt!

    Bad news for moi - but what the heck.

    The world's northernmost desert wind.

    by Sirocco (sirocco2005ATgmail.com) on Sun Jul 24th, 2005 at 03:27:35 PM EST
    [ Parent ]


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