Not buying Egypt gov’t line over synagogue attack

Not buying Egypt gov’t line over synagogue attack

Both have received much attention from the local and international press, with the synagogue story quickly supplanting Baradei news on Saturday and Sunday. I wonder why?

According to police, a man – whom we now know to be a 49-year-old tailor – had thrown a makeshift bomb at the synagogue in an attempt to blow it up. The evidence of this was the black bag with clothes in it and a minor fire that blazed for about an hour on the sidewalk in front of the synagogue. The man allegedly evaded capture for days until he was arrested in the upper-class Garden City neighborhood on his way to the American Embassy to request asylum.

Right. We are supposed to believe this? ElBaradei returns to Cairo, is seen as the Obama-like figure that could cause a rupture within government and is a potential populist candidate for president. Then, the following day a bomb attack occurs at a Jewish synagogue in Cairo, which takes the coverage of his return away and places it on the one subject the Egyptian government loves to discuss: terrorism.

First, Mr. Mubarak, even had the man truly attempted to attack the synagogue, it is not a terrorist attack, instead it is a blatant hate crime. He obviously doesn’t appreciate Jews. But to say terrorism denotes it was a coordinated attack planned to instill fear across Egyptian society. It also implies that he was part of a particular group of individuals who are organized and aim to destroy Jewish monuments across the country. Maybe the Muslim Brotherhood will soon be accused of being the mastermind behind the attack? This, of course, is only relevant if you believe the government line on what occurred.

To put it in perspective, there are at least one dozen soldiers standing in front of the synagogue at any given time 24-hours a day. The government says the man threw the bag from a hotel across the street and then fled the scene. Is the Egyptian security forces that impotent that they could not catch one man, escaping from one exit, when he allegedly throws two bags out a window in plain sight? However weak and idiotic the Egyptian security forces may be, I would give them credit to be able to catch one man running down an empty Cairo street at 6:30 in the morning. But they didn’t.

Now, let’s not say the Egyptian government planned the whole thing in order to take attention away from their most popular opposition candidate in arguably history. That would give them too much credit and would involve a semblance of intelligence. What probably occurred was a soldier was having a cigarette, not paying attention and a small fire erupted. Then, they find two black bags nearby, one with clothes and another with psuedo bomb making materials. Perfect, they say to themselves: “we have a terrorist attack.”

Boom. The international and local media spend an entire two days covering an event that should have been a sidenote on any news desk. Talk about good luck. Doubtful, however, the Egyptian government will be as lucky come election time, unless of course, there happens to be some more “terrorist” attacks.