Intelligence gathered by Egypt and Israel attest to the former Ansar Bait al-Maqdis - now reborn as the Islamic State’s operational arm in Sinai – being well into advanced preparations for a large-scale terrorist offensive targeting Israel forces manning the Egyptian frontier, along with a string of Egyptian targets across Sinai up to and including the Suez Canal and Cairo.
Using different types of rockets, including Grads, as well as mortars and car bombs, terrorist squads then broke into military bases in four cities in Sinai and two on the Suez Canal and set them on fire. Others killed all the personnel aboard military and police convoys before putting them to the torch.
The ISIS Sinai arm is planning to target Israeli forces with a similar type of multiple offensive. Appropriate precautions for fending off this attack are in place.
Cairo banned Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, as a terrorist organization in the wake of the support the Palestinian extremists extended to ISIS for this wholesale assault, supplying the terrorists with rockets and intelligence.
Ansar Bait al-Maqdis has entered into operational collaboration with a newly-established Egyptian Islamist group, which calls itself “Agnad Misr” – Soldiers of Egypt. This group first broke surface on Jan. 24 with a communiqué bearing the motto “Retribution is Life.” It turns out to be made up of Salafi extremists mixed with former members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, one of the forerunners of the original Al Qaeda. Its terror agenda focuses on Cairo and its environs.
There was much confusion earlier today surrounding the immediate fate of Greece, when first thing in the morning Bloomberg reported a rumor that the European Commission would grant Greece a 6 month extension, sending futures surging, and then several hours later, futures surged some more when Germany's finance minister crushed the first rumor, saying "it was wrong" and that without a Greek program, it was "all over."
Which means that the only relevant overnight news when stripping away the endless trial balloons and BS that Europe covers itself with before every important economic summit, was what the Greek defense minister said as reported by Reuters, namely that Greece now has a Plan B if Europe refuses to budge - the same "plan" we hinted last month:
Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos said that if Greece failed to get a new debt agreement with the euro zone, it could always look elsewhere for help.
"What we want is a deal. But if there is no deal - hopefully (there will be) - and if we see that Germany remains rigid and wants to blow apart Europe, then we have the obligation to go to Plan B. Plan B is to get funding from another source," he told Greek television show that ran in to early Tuesday. "It could the United States at best, it could be Russia, it could be China or other countries," he said.
In other words, a threat that if Europe doesn't need Greece (as the EuroStoxx50 and S&P500 are so giddy to confirm), then Greece also doesn't need Europe for the only reason it has needed it for the past 6 years: to provide funding.
Not only that, but Greece would also promptly default on debt held by the ECB and launch the contagion that UBS described earlier, with the only question being how quick it would spread across what is left of the European "Union" and Eurozone.
Western observers were certainly not amused at the Greek comments. As Newsweek reported, Dr Jonathan Eyal from defence and security think tank the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) called Kammenos’ statement an “unbecoming threat from a NATO member state.”
This would lead to the unthinkable: should Greece pivot to Russia it would permit Putin to build Russian bases on NATO soil!
Eyal was not impressed: "It’s possible although it’s a farfetched. If you were to see Russian bases in NATO territory it would obviously raise serious concerns." Or, as Putin would call it, victory. Of course, just because on the surface this possibility appears "farfetched" is why the western punditry is refusing to completely ignore it.
We bring this all up because as everyone by now knows, tomorrow night is the emergency Eurogroup meeting when, among other things, Greece will ask for a bridging loan to cover funding needs until August, something which Germany has already suggested is a non-starter, and yet hopes remain that somehow a compromise will emerge.
Which means that as soon as tomorrow night, if the Eurozone is indeed intent on kicking Greece out as some have suggested, we may know if not Russia but Europe is who suddenly becomes more "isolated", as one of its current member flips allegiance to the man most hated by the entire "developed" world.
Or put in the simplest of terms, tomorrow Greece will decide: Europe, or Russia.