As you know, a Russian passenger jet carrying 224 people went down over Egypt on Saturday. ISIS has claimed responsibility for shooting down the airbus, and has posted a video of the massacre
to YouTube. The comments on the Daily Mail story are interesting...
Biggest mistake Isis ever made was to kill these passengers ! I just wish the west pulls out ant leaves Putin and Russia to wipe out Isis and then al Qaeda
Just desserts for Putin and his evil allies. Let them too feel the pain those relatives felt when their loved ones were murdered over Ukraine on flight MH17..
Go on Mr Putin. You have a green light from the rest of the world. Finish them.
As you see, the knee-jerk hatred of all things Russian is still there, but muted. Most people seem to understand that Russia has carried the fight to ISIS in a way that we have not. This, despite the propaganda campaign designed to convince us that Russian forces were avoiding
If the US finally decides to take serious actions against ISIS, will our jets also become targets?
The missile mystery.
We must determine how ISIS could have gotten hold of the necessary surface-to-air missile. One possible answer may be found in this story
The 26-page document in Arabic, recovered by The Associated Press in a building that had been occupied by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in Timbuktu, strongly suggests the group now possesses the SA-7 surface-to-air missile, known to the Pentagon as the Grail, according to terrorism specialists.
It confirms that the al-Qaeda cell is actively training its fighters to use these weapons, also called man-portable air-defense systems, or MANPADS, which likely came from the arms depots of late Libya dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
"The existence of what apparently constitutes a 'Dummies Guide to MANPADS' is strong circumstantial evidence of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb having the missiles," said Atlantic Council analyst Peter Pham, a former adviser to the United States' military command in Africa and an instructor to US Special Forces.
"Why else bother to write the guide if you don't have the weapons? ... If AQIM not only has the MANPADS, but also fighters who know how to use them effectively," he added, "then the impact is significant, not only on the current conflict, but on security throughout North and West Africa, and possibly beyond."
This is not the first al-Qaeda-linked group thought to have MANPADS - they were circulating in Afghanistan and Iraq, and a terror cell in Somalia recently claimed to have the SA-7 in a video.
If the missile that brought down that Russian airbus came from Al Qaeda -- and ultimately, from us -- the implications are dire.
Our military has been openly calling for an alliance with Al Qaeda in Syria
, where the group is known as the Nusra Front. At the same time, our press has been pretending that ISIS and Al Qaeda are antagonists, even though the evidence is clear
that they have worked together
and share pretty much the same goals in Syria.
has called for America to equip the Syrian rebels (read: Al Qaeda) with Stinger missiles. Did that man give any
thought as to how such weaponry might be used?
Keep on trucking.
In this light, we should also recall the case of Serena Shim, an America reporter who was killed under suspicious circumstances
on the Turkish/Syrian border in 2014. Turkish intelligence had accused her of being a spy after she reported that Turkey (our ally) was complicit in smuggling weapons to ISIS. She also said that ISIS fighters were allowed to pass through the border in large trucks bearing World Health Organization labels.
Seems to me that one could hide a lot
in those trucks.
The question of range. Russia's transport minister
has officially denied that terrorism played a role in the downing of the airliner, as has Egypt's Prime Minister
. Of course, the Egyptians would want to protect their beleaguered tourism industry.
Moon of Alabama
doubts that ISIS was responsible:
According to flight radar data the plane was flying at 30,000 feet when whatever happened occurred. IS in Sinai has anti-air weapons but those reach no higher than 10,000 feet.
I cannot see a missile in the video
. But if we are talking about a bomb-in-the-luggage scenario, would an ISIS cameraman (shooting with an iPhone) know precisely where to stand to get a good shot of the explosion? The Daily Mail story at the other end of that link attracted this comment:
Can't hit an airliner at 30 thousand feet from the ground with a shoulder launched missile. No trail shown from a missile. Sure I have seen this video before many years ago. If it was IS then they have Alibaba working for them.
This is not the only time a commenter has suggested that we have been handed a bogus video. So far, though, no-one has offered proof that this footage shows the downing of some other jet.
There are long-range missiles (not
shoulder-launched) which could have done the job. One is called -- I kid you not -- Barak
Why did the story change?
We have varying reports as to whether the jet suffered a technical malfunction before going down. Let's look at the reportage in reverse chronological order, starting with the Daily Mail:
It comes as it has emerged that the burning Airbus A321 did not lodge an SOS call before it plummeted to he ground in the restive Sinai Peninsula.
Egypt's civil aviation minister Hossam Kamal said communications between the pilot and air traffic controllers were 'normal' ahead of the disaster.
'There was nothing abnormal... and the pilot didn't ask to change the plane's route,' he said, adding that the controllers recorded no distress calls.
Initial reports from Egypt said the pilot of the Kogalymavia airline had asked to make an emergency landing.
But minister Hossam Kamal said there had been no sign of any problems on board the flight.
The pilot reportedly requested clearance for an emergency landing at Cairo airport due to a technical malfunction.
A senior Egyptian air traffic control official said the pilot told him in their last communication that he had radio trouble.
The Russian embassy in Cairo said it was told by Egyptian officials that the pilot had been trying to make an emergency landing at El-Arish.
Clearly, someone was spreading the story that the pilot was having technical problems and needed to make an emergency landing -- a claim that was later walked back. But what was the purpose of the original false report?
Perhaps it was not false at all. Perhaps lower-level air officials reported honestly that the pilot was having technical problems, until Kamal overruled all of them. All of the "nothing abnormal" stories trace back to Kamal, whose word is considered final; nobody has double-checked his claim with sources who have direct knowledge.
And if that
part of the story was subject to change, then how can we be 100 percent certain that the jet really was cruising at 30,000 feet?