Sunday, November 08, 2015

 The Unravelling Mystery

"What we had seen so far were IS-inspired lone wolves, but this attack appears to be the result of close, consistent operational support."
Mokhtar Awad, Centre for American Progress
Military investigators from Russia stand near the debris of a Russian airliner at the site of its crash at the Hassana area in Arish city, north Egypt, November 1, 2015.    Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
Some unnamed American officials are quietly claiming that they have been asked for assistance in the Russian forensic analysis set to determine what it was that brought down Airbus A321-200. Russian investigators have collected some fragments of the plane for Russian analysts to examine and it's hard to believe they need much help in that mission. There have already been some results surfacing, which are yet to be confirmed, but it seems that the original Russian assertions that an explosion caused by a bomb was out of the question, is now the answer to the question.

According to Debkafile, an exclusive report is unequivocal that Russian investigators have discovered residue and allied evidence that an explosion did indeed rip the plane apart from the interior. The discovery was made that holes produced by iron balls of the type planted within bombs were scattered throughout all parts of the plane. Also seen were large tears in the outer walls, obviously emanating from a powerful explosion. Those samples and conclusions were presented to a meeting of the National Anti-Terrorist Committee.

Forensic examination of the remains of some of the victims indicate that those unfortunates died from the results of a horrendous explosive blast, and that news is of no solace whatever to the families grieving their lost ones. There is certain now to be pressure on Moscow over Vladimir Putin's entrance into Syria; not only will there be increasing numbers of Russian soldiers dying in that conflagration, but now there is clear evidence that Islamic State affiliate Sinai Province conspired with ISIL to produce an atrocity costly to Russia.

Additional intelligence now in Moscow's hands appears to point to plans by Islamic State for a follow-up event where additional terrorist attacks are to take place targeting Russian and European passenger jets. And then there are the as-yet-unconfirmed but fairly confident reports of the involvement of British jihadists in the attack. That British intelligence was in the forefront of concluding a bomb was the likeliest explanation for the plane's disintegration in flight, leaves some further explanations to be aired, though they are not likely to be forthcoming.

The "chatter", for example that alerted intelligence agencies, comprised of communications between the Sinai chapter and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Raqqa, speaks of a rather lax attitude among intelligence agencies themselves, since that "chatter" pre-dated the actual explosive attack, and might have been averted had they been adequately alerted before the event, as presumably they should have been, since this is the purpose of poring over communications by the agencies to begin with. Excited reports of "something big in the area", should logically have been tapped beforehand.

The British-accented jihadists implicated in this successful attack causing such great glee in jihadist circles is reminiscent of the Brit who was prominent in Islamic State beheading videos that caused such fear and trepidation among civilized societies, in the knowledge that among them, living as neighbours, were people who were assumed to be loyal citizens who would view with loathing and disgust the delight that jihadis take in committing atrocities deliberately prolonging the agony of death for their victims. Instead, they realized soon enough, they were being championed.

It transpires now that just days before the Russian jet explosion, a senior British minister warned the aviation industry that the penetration of security at foreign airports was being targeted by terrorist plotters. And now, investigators are uncovering details that relate directly to those warnings that authorities appear not to have taken quite seriously enough back then, though they're being given full attention after the fact:
  1. Egypt’s investigators state that a clamour was heard in the last second of the cockpit voice recording on the jet, reinforcing the likelihood the aircraft was brought down by an on-board bomb;
  2. The Islamic State terror group claiming responsibility [Sinai Province] was trained by an ex-Egyptian special forces officer, who had turned to jihadism;
  3. UK aviation and security officials shown CCTV footage from inside Sharm el-Sheikh airport alarmed at the lack of security measures, ordered cancellation of all further flights from Britain to the Red Sea resort;
  4. Downing Street admitted it would take much longer than previously felt to evacuate stranded Britons from Sharm el Sheikh whose numbers are second only to Russia's tourists.
The actions and precautionary measures to be taken now by the international flight community and national security forces represents a matter whose disarray and panic delights and validates Islamic State and its subsidiaries. Another victory on their long and determined passage to international conquest and the much enhanced prestige of the Caliphate.

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