The British Cobra (emergency cabinet) decision of Wednesday, Nov. 4, not to send airliners to or from Sharm El-Sheikh, where 20,000 British tourists are stranded, further strengthens the assumption that the Russian Metrojet Flight 9268 was downed over Sinai Saturday by a terrorist missile. It confirms that air traffic over Sinai and landings at Sharm are under threat from the ground - else why leave a large group of Britons under virtual siege in the Egyptian Red Sea resort? London said that the suspension of flights to Sharm was “indefinite.”
Moscow early Thursday accused London of being moved to this action out of hostility to Russia rather than security concerns.
Downing Street released a statement Wednesday saying: "As more information has come to light, we have become concerned that the plane may well have been brought down by an explosive device.” This statement was criticized by Egypt as “premature” – not a good omen for the conversation Prime Minister David Cameron is due to hold with his visitor, Egyptian president Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi, later Thursday.
The British government has therefore stubbed toes in Moscow and Cairo without coming up with an emergency plan for evacuating its citizens from Egypt, whether overland to Cairo by bus or by sea aboard ships picking them up at the Red Sea resort and sailing through the Suez Canal.
This lack of initiative is a sign of confusion and uncertainty.
So far, the drawn-out deliberations and prevarications by officials in several countries regarding the crash of the Russian plane are meant for one purpose: to gain time for doing nothing about ISIS in Sinai. Neither the US, Russia or Britain is ready to send forces to the peninsula to confront the terrorists head-on.
The Ansar al Sharia terrorist organization in Libya, which attacked the US consulate in Benghazi and murdered the American ambassador in 2012, has the very missiles capable of shooting down large airliners flying at high altitudes:
Russian-made ground-to-air Buk missiles, which have a range of between three and 42 kilometers. This ultra-violent Islamist terror group has very close operational ties with ISIS-Sinai, and very possibly smuggled the missile system into Sinai from Libya.
A number of intelligence agencies are aware of this and so a flock of leading European and Persian Gulf airlines lost no time in rerouting their flights to avoid Sinai straight after the Russian air disaster.
By causing this disaster, the Islamist terrorists coolly aimed for four goals:
1. Retaliation for Russian intervention in Syria
2. An attempt to destabilize the regime of Egyptian President Fattah Al-Sisi
3. To show up the inadequacies of the 63-member coalition that the US formed in its effort to fight ISIS
4. To parade before the world the Islamic State’s operational prowess, its ability to shoot down the large passenger planes of the world’s biggest powers.
For five days, intelligence and flight safety experts dismissed the claim of responsibility that ISIS issued on the evening of October 31, maintaining that it was not to be taken seriously because no proof had been provided to support the claim – as if the charred fragments of the plane spread across tens of kilometers of desert were deniable.
In the second of its three messages, ISIS repeated its claim Wednesday, Nov. 4, promising details of how it downed the plane at a later date.
While more and more Western governments are coming around to accepting that the Russian airliner’s crash was caused by an explosive device, DEBKAfile’s counterterrorism sources repeat that they cannot rule out the possibility of a missile. The argument made on Wednesday in Washington and London that terrorist organizations do not have missiles capable of downing such planes is are simply incorrect.
ISIS-Sinai’s possession of an advanced ground-air missile system does not only endanger planes in the peninsula’s airspace, but also those aircraft flying over the Suez Canal as well as parts of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel. One of the Egyptian president’s main purposes in his London visit was to try and persuade Prime Minister Cameron to join an Egyptian military operation against Ansar al Sharia in Libya and so eliminate a major prop and arms supplier for ISIS-Sinai. He does not hold out much hope of success.
Wednesday brought a veritable smorgasbord of “new” information about the Russian passenger jet which fell out of the sky above the Sinai Peninsula last weekend.
First there was an audio recording from ISIS’ Egyptian affiliate reiterating that they did indeed “down” the plane. Next, the ISIS home office in Raqqa (or Langley or Hollywood) released a video of five guys sitting in the front yard congratulating their Egyptian “brothers” on the accomplishment.
Then the UK grounded air traffic from Sharm el-Sheikh noting that the plane “may well” have had an “explosive device” on board.
Finally, US media lit up with reports that according to American “intelligence” sources, ISIS was probably responsible for the crash.
Over the course of the investigation, one question that’s continually come up is whether militants could have shot the plane down. Generally speaking, the contention that ISIS (or at least IS Sinai) has the technology and/or the expertise to shoot down a passenger jet flying at 31,000 feet has been discredited by “experts” and infrared satellite imagery.
But that’s nothing the CIA can’t fix.
With the Pentagon now set to deploy US ground troops to Syria (and indeed they may already be there, operating near Latakia no less), Washington is reportedly bolstering the supply lines to “moderate” anti-regime forces at the urging of (guess who) the Saudis and Erdogan.
Incredibly, some of the weapons being passed out may be shoulder-fire man-portable air-defense systems, or Manpads, capable of hitting civilian aircraft.
But don’t worry, those will only be given to “select rebels.” Here’s more from WSJ:
The U.S. and its regional allies agreed to increase shipments of weapons and other supplies to help moderate Syrian rebels hold their ground and challenge the intervention of Russia and Iran on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, U.S. officials and their counterparts in the region said.
The deliveries from the Central Intelligence Agency, Saudi Arabia and other allied spy services deepen the fight between the forces battling in Syria, despite President Barack Obama’s public pledge to not let the conflict become a U.S.-Russia proxy war.
Saudi officials not only pushed for the White House to keep the arms pipeline open, but also warned the administration against backing away from a longstanding demand that Mr. Assad must leave office.
In the past month of intensifying Russian airstrikes, the CIA and its partners have increased the flow of military supplies to rebels in northern Syria, including of U.S.-made TOW antitank missiles, these officials said. Those supplies will continue to increase in coming weeks, replenishing stocks depleted by the regime’s expanded military offensive.
An Obama administration official said the military pressure is needed to push Mr. Assad from power.
“Assad is not going to feel any pressure to make concessions if there is no viable opposition that has the capacity, through the support of its partners, to put pressure on his regime,” the official said.
In addition to the arms the U.S. has agreed to provide, Saudi and Turkish officials have renewed talks with their American counterparts about allowing limited supplies of shoulder-fire man-portable air-defense systems, or Manpads, to select rebels. Those weapons could help target regime aircraft, in particular those responsible for dropping barrel bombs, and could also help keep Russian air power at bay, the officials said.
Mr. Obama has long rebuffed such proposals, citing the risk to civilian aircraft and fears they could end up in the hands of terrorists. To reduce those dangers, U.S. allies have proposed retrofitting the equipment to add so-called kill switches and specialized software that would prevent the operator from using the weapon outside a designated area, said officials in the region briefed on the option.
U.S. intelligence agencies are concerned that a few older Manpads may already have been smuggled into Syria through supply channels the CIA doesn’t control.
If that sounds insane to you, that’s because it is. Even as US intelligence (which we can only assume emanates from the CIA) indicates that IS Sinai likely brought down a Russian passenger jet with 224 people on board, the same CIA is working with the Saudis to supply “select rebels” with weapons capable of shooting down commercial airliners.
Make no mistake, this has gone beyond absurd and is now bordering on the bizarre. It’s apparently not enough that the US is supplying anti-tank missiles to rebels shooting at the very same Iran-backed militias that the US implicitly supports across the border in Iraq so now, the CIA and Saudi Arabia will give these rebels the firepower to shoot down planes, meaning that in the “best” case scenario they’ll be firing at Russian fighter jets, and in the worst case scenario these weapons will end up in the “wrong” hands and be used to down commercial flights.
Putting this all together, it now appears possible that the US is, i) sending anti-tank weapons to rebels who are shooting at Iranian soldiers, ii) embedding ground troops near Latakia which means they'll almost certainly be engaging Hezbollah directly, and iii) passing weapons capable of downing a commercial airliner to "select" militants days after a Russian passenger jet exploded in the skies above the Sinai Peninsula.
This is all in conjunction with the Saudis and Erodgan, who just rigged an election in Turkey on the way to rewriting his country's constitution.
And the Western media reports this with a straight face as though it all makes some measure of sense...
Last May, when the Obama administration was furiously cracking down on the Kremlin in the aftermath of the CIA-backed Ukraine presidential coup and the resulting "territorial expansion" by Russia which promptly took over the Crimea peninsula (and is on its way to annexing the Donetsk republic) with attempts to "isolate" Russia, one prominent US company dared to defy the White House embargo and extended its partnership with Moscow.
This is what we posted last May: "Several of the largest oil companies in the world are doubling down in Russia despite moves by the West to isolate Russia and its economy. ExxonMobil and BP separately signed agreements with Rosneft – Russia’s state-owned oil company – to extend and deepen their relationships for energy exploration. The U.S. slapped sanctions on Rosneft’s CEO Igor Sechin in late April, freezing his assets and preventing him from obtaining visas.
As the NYT reports, the New York AG has "begun a sweeping investigation of Exxon Mobil to determine whether the company lied to the public about the risks of climate change or to investors about how those risks might hurt the oil business."
According to people with knowledge of the investigation, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued a subpoena Wednesday evening to Exxon Mobil, demanding extensive financial records, emails and other documents.
The NYT adds that "the focus includes the company’s activities dating to the late 1970s, including a period of at least a decade when Exxon Mobil funded groups that sought to undermine climate science."
Which "science" the NY AG is referring to is unclear, but one thing is clear: Exxon has dared to deny "climate change" and now it must be punished. As the NYT says "a major focus of the investigation is whether the company adequately warned investors about potential financial risks stemming from society’s need to limit fossil-fuel use."
A "need" spearheaded, incidentally, by the "bleeding heart humanitarian" and infinite humanist, Goldman Sachs, which stands to make billions from such programs as cap-and-trade. Here is a quick reminder of just how Goldman's profit motive is aligned with the "science" Obama finds beneficial to society, from 2009:
it’s early June in Washington, D.C. Barack Obama, a popular young politician whose leading private campaign donor was an investment bank called Goldman Sachs – its employees paid some $981,000 to his campaign – sits in the White House. Having seamlessly navigated the political minefield of the bailout era, Goldman is once again back to its old business, scouting out loopholes in a new government-created market with the aid of a new set of alumni occupying key government jobs.Gone are HankPaulson and Neel Kashkari; in their place are Treasury chief of staff Mark Patterson and CFTC chief Gary Gensler, both former Goldmanites. (Gensler was the firm’s co-head of finance.) And instead of credit derivatives or oil futures or mortgage-backed CDOs, the new game in town, the next bubble, is in carbon credits – a booming trillion dollar market that barely even exists yet, but will if the Democratic Party that it gave $4,452,585 to in the last election manages to push into existence a groundbreaking new commodities bubble, disguised as an “environmental plan,” called cap-and-trade.
And, best of all, Goldman's next and potentially perhaps largest ever revenue stream has the cover of doing what is "socially right", and is, according to the NY AG, "backed by science."
That, in a nutshell, are the two sides of the "climate change" debate, and without taking either side, we show whose financial interests are most at stake.
But back to Exxon, whose financial interests are certainly at stake now that it is suddenly in the crosshairs of allegedly denying "climate change", a charge which will result in billions in settlement fees or worse.
The premise behind the probe is whether Exxon was "funding", and thus influencing, the other side of the argument, namely "deniers".
The sources said the attorney general’s investigation of Exxon Mobil began a year ago, focusing initially on what the company had told investors over the course of decades about the risks that climate change might pose to its business.News reporting in the last eight months added impetus to the investigation, the sources said. In February, several news organizations, including The New York Times, reported that a Smithsonian researcher who had published papers questioning established climate science, Wei-Hock Soon, had received extensive funds from fossil fuel companies, including Exxon Mobil, without disclosing them.
As for Exxon, "Wall Street analysts reacted to the legal action against Exxon Mobil with mixed concerns about a company that, like other oil and gas companies, is already suffering from a plunge in commodity prices. "This is not good news for Exxon Mobil or Exxon Mobil shareholders,” said Fadel Gheit, a senior oil company analyst at Oppenheimer & Company. “It’s a negative, though how much damage there will be to reputation or performance is very hard to say.”
Brian Youngberg, senior energy analyst at Edward Jones, said, “There is headline risk, but the actual financial impact will not affect the company for a long time, if ever. I think there will be a modest overhang.”
And that is precisely what Obama wants: to keep a lid, both literally and metaphorically, on yet another sector, and have all the leverage (mostly monetarily) over an industry that for the past decade was one of the few bright spots in the US economy. Because soon energy companies, like banks, like biotechs, are about to become another "utility" of the government which will decide just how much profit is fair, and how much isn't... and has to go into the government's pocket.
More importantly, as the title suggest, with this salvo, it is now open season on "climate change deniers"everywhere. And it will certainly teach companies far and wide to defy Obama in public and make a global mockery of his ironclad foreign policy.