Russian Airliner Destroyed Over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula – Cui Bono Suggests it Was Most Likely a Bomb Planted by MI6-CIA-Saudi Intelligence Factions Acting as ISIS

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Morning Briefing | Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Wreckage of Russian plane in Sinai

Frame grab of ISIS film claiming credit for attack

The case of the Russian airliner destroyed over the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt continues to preoccupy intelligence practitioners in large parts of the world. This tragic incident has claimed the lives of 225 Russian vacationers, and also led to the total suspension of British, Russian, and other flights to Egyptian airports, including that of Sharm El Sheikh, the tropical resort city from which the doomed airliner had taken off in the direction of Moscow before breaking up in midair, due either to a bomb or structural failure such as metal fatigue.

In the first days after this incident, a pattern emerged which saw Russia and Egypt asserting that any and all judgments were premature, and that it was wrong to conclude that the tragic crash had been the work of a bomb. It was clear that the Egyptian government, especially with President Sisi visiting London, was deeply worried about the devastating impact a bomb attack would have on its tourist and vacation trade, which had already been radically reduced after 2011 as a result of the various activities of the Morsi regime and its militant Moslem brotherhood backers. Russia was presumably reluctant to concede that one of its airliners could be destroyed by a terrorist group anywhere in the world. The Kremlin also seemed to be avoiding the implication that a terror group had been able to retaliate against the Russian presence in Syria and the many combat sorties flown against ISIS targets.

The other side of this debate was constituted by the British government, whose views then tended to be parroted by American officials in Washington. The UK was adamant that the air crash was the result of a terrorist bomb, and that this was the only possible conclusion. London was obviously enticed by the possibility of embarrassing both Cairo and Moscow. But, quite apart from the well-known track record of lies which has won for the British government the title of perfide Albion over decades and centuries, it was also clear that the thesis of the terrorist bomb was in many ways the most plausible. Maybe the UK and US assertions were an example of the truth being told by bad people for the wrong reasons.

Over the last few days, elements have emerged which seem to solidify the thesis of a terrorist bomb planted by some member or sympathizer of ISIS, or perhaps of a similar group. The London Independent is reporting about a new ISIS video which wants to claim credit for the attack on the Russian plane, describing it as a means of punishing Russia for the air attacks carried on by that country in the Syria:

‘The Isis militant group has released a new video celebrating the crash of a Russian plane over the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, and reaffirming its claim of responsibility. The seven-minute video was released by the media wing of ISIS’s Aleppo “province”, and praised the “lion fighters” of the militant group’s branch in Sinai for “bringing down a Russian airplane.” The video does not include any details of how the plane might have been brought down, but expressly describes the apparent terror attack as retaliation for Russian air strikes in Syria.’

Of course, the fact that a group of duplicitous fanatics is claiming credit for a terrorist action in no way proves that they actually did it. If the downing of the Russian plane is to be considered a victory for the terrorists, then that victory is sure to have many fathers coming forward to demand recognition.

Anglo-American sources are also pointing to the so-called “chatter,” meaning the radio and telephone communications exchanged among the terrorist fanatics, in which they congratulate each other for the atrocity committed. According to NBC News: ‘Intelligence intercepts picked up chatter between ISIS operatives boasting about taking down an airliner after the Russian Metrojet passenger plane crashed in the Sinai last weekend, killing all 224 aboard, U.S. officials told NBC News Friday. ISIS operatives in the Sinai and ISIS leadership in Raqqa, Syria, were “clearly celebrating” the takedown of the commercial airliner, one official said. Details about how the plane was brought down were also intercepted, but the officials wouldn’t specify what information was shared between the militants.’

Then, after the role of ISIS had been denied for several days, the Egyptian government announced that it had eliminated the boss of the ISIS terrorist cell in the Sinai after catching up with him and engaging him in a firefight: ‘While the investigation into the crash of the Russian Metrojet A321 on Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula is ongoing, the self-proclaimed Islamic State terrorist group claimed responsibility for the incident.

On Monday, Egyptian authorities said they eliminated the leader of the ISIS cell based in the region. Ashraf Ali al-Gharably was the leader of the Ansar Bait al-Maqdis group, which recently pledged allegiance to IS and rebranded itself as the Sinai Province of the Islamic State.’

Of course, the Sinai Peninsula is home to a number of pre-ISIS terrorist organizations, many of them linked to the Moslem brotherhood, and many of them enjoying logistical support from the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip. These groups have been conducting murderous attacks on Egyptian army posts in this area for many months, without getting much attention in the Western world. There is also the so-called Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which supposedly has very sophisticated explosives capacities associated with one particular bomb maker who has been attempting for years to produce bombs which could not be discovered by the usual airport metal detectors. At the same time, there is much talk of airport security personnel, who might have been accomplices in the attack. We can expect another round of airport hysteria in the U.S. no matter what else does or does not emerge.

We are left then with questions of cui bono and cui prodest, which it may be premature to attempt to answer at this time.

It is certainly true that ISIS, if it is regarded as an independent or semi-independent entity, has reason for wanting to retaliate against Russia. The calculation here means that losses inflicted on the Russian population may awake the strong and horrible memories of the Soviet counterinsurgency effort in Afghanistan during the 1980s. These painful memories, the terrorists might calculate, could be strong enough to energize opposition against President Putin.

A German expert on Russian affairs told a representative of the Tax Wall Street Party about a week ago that Moscow is now the scene of fierce factional warfare between supporters of President Putin and his opponents. The latter group may be the usual pro-Western economic neo-liberals who want to remain as part of the Federal Reserve System, or the division might be along some other lines.

Another party which has been mightily offended by the Russian return to the Middle East political scene is of course the Saudi Arabian monarchy, whose over-ambitious plans for the overthrow of President Assad of Syria have been frustrated, for the time being at least. And if this is true of Saudi Arabia, it also becomes true of the U.S. faction around Petraeus and Allen, who share this view.

More than one source has advanced what we could call a modern version of convergence theory, alleging that the purpose of bombing the airliner is to promote a common front of the United States and Russia against ISIS. Their reasoning is that if Moscow can be convinced that ISIS planted the bomb, then the Russian forces in Syria will be ordered to attack the Caliphate, which they have so far largely avoided. This certainly appears less plausible, since killing 225 Russians is hardly a way to promote cooperation. This version always leaves out who actually designed, produced, and placed the bomb. Was it ISIS, AQAP, the Saudis, or the CIA? Whoever it is, the Russians are likely to find out, and then the retaliation may go in surprising directions.

We should also remember the track record of Saudi Arabia in threatening Russia with terrorism. At the beginning of the winter Olympics in Sochi, Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia travelled to Moscow and issued a threat to Putin, specifying that unless Russia stopped supporting Assad against the Saudi backed fanatics, the Saudis would visit terrorism upon Russia. This was then followed by a high profile attack on the Volgograd railway station. There was also much talk about the black widows, the surviving spouses of dead terrorists who were supposedly prepared to follow their deceased husbands into martyrdom.

Site of the December 29, 2013 railway bombing

Bomb at Volgograd train station December 2013

Putin in Volgograd, 1 January 2014

But all of these explanations must be supplemented by a higher-level awareness of what is actually happening. For a number of months, there have been persistent reports that U.S.-Russian cooperation is actually much more substantial than the adversarial rhetorical posturing of the two governments would suggest. It has, for example, been suggested that Obama gave tacit approval, and even encouragement, to the deployment of Russian forces into Syria. This has to do with the idea that an American rapprochement with Iran is now ongoing, and that Washington needs to manage Saudi Arabia (the arch-enemy of Tehran), which is easier to do if the Russians are reasserting themselves in the Middle East. A related idea is that the Obama White House has finally comprehended that supporting the Saudi-Turkish attack on Syria using terrorist irregular forces (as demanded by Petraeus-Allen) has been a disastrous strategy for the United States, and promises to become even worse in the near future. From this point of view, the White House would welcome efforts by Russian forces to mop up ISIS, since this would relieve the Americans of the necessity of destroying ISIS and thus offending Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and various Sunni forces .

Implicit here is the idea that the public statements of especially Obama are designed to conceal rather than to display the essence of his policy. If this is so, then the purpose or net result of the Sinai airliner bombing may well be to disrupt the Russian-U.S. cooperation which is actually happening behind the scenes.

Another possible party to the squabble who should not be forgotten is of course the British, if only because they are the former colonial power which dominated Egypt for so many decades. The essentials of British imperial divide and conquer policy would always dictate that London act to disrupt cooperation between the US and Russia. This is all the more likely in the light of London’s very obvious rapprochement with China, in which the experts from the City of London are providing technical assistance to Beijing in various moves to undermine the U.S. dollar.

Out of all these considerations, the current most likely suspects should be sought at the point where British, Saudi, and Moslem Brotherhood networks interface with the Petraeus or neocon faction of the State Department and CIA.


  1. “New Isis video celebrates Russian plane crash and praises Sinai branch for ‘bringing down the jet’-Isis has released three statements on the crash – but not previously from its central branches in Syria or Iraq,” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/new-isis-video-celebrates…
  2. http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/russian-plane-crashes-in-the-sinai/cras…
  3. http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20151109/1029841264/egypt-isil-leader-…
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