Michael's Feed
Nov 9, 2015

Exclusive: Investigators ’90 percent sure’ bomb downed Russian plane

CAIRO (Reuters) – Investigators of the Russian plane crash in Egypt are “90 percent sure” the noise heard in the final second of a cockpit recording was an explosion caused by a bomb, a member of the investigation team told Reuters on Sunday.

The Airbus (AIR.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) A321 crashed 23 minutes after taking off from the Sharm al-Sheikh tourist resort eight days ago, killing all 224 passengers and crew. Islamic State militants fighting Egyptian security forces in Sinai said they brought it down.

Nov 8, 2015

Exclusive – Investigators ’90 percent sure’ of bomb on crashed Russian plane

CAIRO (Reuters) – Investigators of the Russian plane crash in Egypt are “90 percent sure” the noise heard in the final second of a cockpit recording was an explosion caused by a bomb, a member of the investigation team told Reuters on Sunday.

The Airbus (AIR.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) A321 crashed 23 minutes after taking off from the Sharm al-Sheikh tourist resort eight days ago, killing all 224 passengers and crew. Islamic State militants fighting Egyptian security forces in Sinai said they brought it down.

Nov 8, 2015

Investigators “90 percent sure” of bomb on crashed Russian plane

CAIRO, Nov 8 (Reuters) – Investigators of the Russian plane
crash in Egypt are “90 percent sure” the noise heard in the
final second of a cockpit recording was an explosion caused by a
bomb, a member of the investigation team told Reuters on Sunday.

The Airbus A321 crashed 23 minutes after taking off
from the Sharm al-Sheikh tourist resort eight days ago, killing
all 224 passengers and crew. Islamic State militants fighting
Egyptian security forces in Sinai said they brought it down.

Nov 5, 2015

Islamic State Egypt branch suspected in plane crash remains elusive

CAIRO (Reuters) – The Islamic State branch suspected of bringing down a Russian airliner in Egypt had eluded a security dragnet by operating in secretive cells inspired by a leader who used to import clothes for a living, Egyptian intelligence officials say.

Western officials are increasingly pointing the finger of blame at Sinai Province, which has focused on killing Egyptian soldiers and police since the military toppled President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013 after mass protests.

Oct 28, 2015

Iraq to adjust military spending, hire 10,000 new forces -minister

BAGHDAD, Oct 28 (Reuters) – A financial squeeze is forcing
Iraq to put major weapons deals on hold, but the country will
hire 10,000 additional paramilitary forces seen as critical in
the fight against Islamic State, its finance minister said on
Wednesday.

Baghdad will focus its military spending in 2016 on light
and medium weapons such as sniper rifles, as well as anti-mining
devices and surveillance equipment as an alternative to heavier
weapons like artillery.

Oct 22, 2015

Special Report: Egypt locks up lawyers in Islamist fight

CAIRO (Reuters) – As Egypt cracks down on its Islamist dissidents, many of the country’s lawyers are finding themselves on the wrong side of the law as well. Attorney Mohsen al-Bahnasy says so many fellow lawyers have been arrested or charged in recent months that he now spends much of his time defending them in court.

One of the lawyers he represents is accused of distributing leaflets supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group banned by the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. According to Bahnasy, his client, a lawyer, was in a police station with his own clients at the time of the alleged crime. Bahnasy says the lawyer, like others deemed sympathetic to the Brotherhood, has never distributed such leaflets and is the victim of trumped-up charges.

Oct 21, 2015

Poor election turnout in Egypt might strengthen Sisi’s hand

CAIRO (Reuters) – Turnout was so low in the first round of Egypt’s parliamentary elections, that satirist Bassem Youssef derided it as an ingenious strategy to show the world Egypt had rid itself of its notorious overcrowding.

Empty polling stations highlight disillusionment with Egypt’s chaotic political transition but could have the surprise effect of bolstering President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s authority by suggesting that, four years after they revolted against one-man-rule, Egyptians still look to the presidency as the main seat of power.

Oct 21, 2015

Analysis – Poor election turnout in Egypt might strengthen Sisi’s hand

CAIRO (Reuters) – Turnout was so low in the first round of Egypt’s parliamentary elections, that satirist Bassem Youssef derided it as an ingenious strategy to show the world Egypt had rid itself of its notorious overcrowding.

Empty polling stations highlight disillusionment with Egypt’s chaotic political transition but could have the surprise effect of bolstering President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s authority by suggesting that, four years after they revolted against one-man-rule, Egyptians still look to the presidency as the main seat of power.

Oct 15, 2015

Sisi to tighten grip on Egypt despite new parliament

CAIRO (Reuters) – When general Abdel Fattah al-Sisi swapped his uniform for a suit to become Egyptian president, he mapped out a return to democracy culminating in parliamentary elections. These start on Sunday, but the new chamber is unlikely to challenge what critics describe as his increasingly authoritarian rule.

With most of his opponents in jail and Western powers firmly behind him, Sisi is consolidating his hold on power more than a year into his first term and two years after he toppled Egypt’s first freely-elected president following mass protests.

Oct 12, 2015

Islamic State can draw on veteran jihadists, ex-Iraq army officers for leadership

CAIRO/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, one of the world’s most wanted men, is counting on veteran jihadis and former Iraqi army officers who form the core of the militant movement to take over if he is killed.

New questions arose over Islamic State’s leadership structure and who might succeed Baghdadi after Iraq’s military said on Sunday air strikes had hit a convoy carrying him, though Iraqi security officials later denied this.