|Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi|
Egyptian military ruler Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi said Wednesday that the security in the Sinai Peninsula was "100% under control," a day after a US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged Cairo to strengthen its security in the region. "The security situation in Sinai is 100% safe," MENA news agency quoted Tantawi as saying. [Source]
While you're absorbing it, cast a glance at what we wrote a little over a week ago (27-Sep-11: Egypt-to-Israel gas pipeline sabotaged for sixth time this year) and before that, at the end of August (30-Aug-11: Dark clouds over Israel's south - hard to see from most newspapers, TVs and web pages).
Keep in mind also the words we quoted in our August 30 2011 blog entry from one of Australia's leading foreign affairs commentators (Greg Sheridan, "Freedom for extremists could make Sinai the new Somalia"):
Although, with Israel's agreement, Egypt has sent more troops into Sinai to try to restore order, it has essentially lost control of Sinai, where non-integrated Bedouin tribes are happy to co-operate with Islamist terrorists."The Tantawian view of Sinai is, to say the least, not shared in Israel. We remembers how, on August 18 2011, eight Israelis died and at least 40 were wounded in a multi-pronged terror attack near the southern-most Israeli city, Eilat. The attackers are believed to have infiltrated from Sinai. Israel's military leadership has had to assign substantially increased numbers of soldiers and equipment to protect Israel's southern flank from the threat of attack from Sinai and Gaza.