Latest Sinai-based terror attack on tourism targets comes as a revelation to the BBC

Although the latest version of the report appearing on the BBC News website’s Middle East page in relation to the February 16th terror attack at the Egyptian side of the Taba border terminal – titled “Sinai attacks: Deadly bombing hits Egypt tour bus” – is dated February 17th, coverage at the same URL began the day before and the article was amended several times as information came to light. Taba attack

The report’s later version states:

“Egypt’s struggling tourist trade – which is a slim lifeline for the economy – looks set to be another casualty of the bombing, says the BBC’s Orla Guerin in Cairo. […]

Our correspondent says the bombing could signal a shift in strategy by al-Qaeda-inspired militants in Sinai, from attacks on the police and army, to softer targets.”

Of course attacks on tourism-related targets are actually already part of the “strategy” of what the BBC insists upon euphemistically terming “militant groups” operating in Sinai. Just last month there were two separate incidents of missile fire by Global Jihad terrorists on the city of Eilat – which has an economy primarily based on tourism. However, both those attacks were ignored by the BBC meaning that its audiences – and apparently also its staff – lack the context necessary to appreciate the inaccuracy of Orla Guerin’s statement.

Notably too, this report makes no attempt to inform readers of the connections between Global Jihad affiliated terrorists operating in the Sinai and Salafi Jihadist elements in the Gaza Strip.

“Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis maintains strong links with the Gaza Strip, partnering with groups such as the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC). This allows Gaza terrorists to “subcontract” attacks on Israel away from the Strip, to protect the ruling Hamas regime from Israeli retaliation. […]

With hundreds of Salafi jihadists based in Gaza, and many of them moving to and from Sinai, smuggling weapons and plotting attacks, it is no longer possible to view Gaza and Sinai as fully separate sectors. The danger of these networks merging with the extensive jihadist networks in Syria is substantial.”

As has been noted here before, such background information is crucial to BBC audience understanding of counter-terrorism operations – past or future – carried out by Israel or Egypt.  

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