Update on the Suez Canal, EgyptSeptember 5, 2013 in Egypt
In continuing efforts to maintain the protection of the Suez Canal Zone, Egyptian authorities issued unprecedented increases to security. Egyptian armed forces have erected checkpoint every 20 kilometres, and have deployed army helicopters to monitor the Canal Zone. In addition, there are increased mobile security patrols, and the military has installed more security cameras in and around the waterway. The government has also been working with local tribes in the Sinai Peninsula to ensure cooperation in the region’s security.
Analysts surmise that hitting and sinking a vessel in the Canal Zone would be extremely difficult; such an endeavour would require a suicide boat attack, floating mines, or missiles. While the former two options would be almost inconceivable to get through Suez security, the option that remains is to build a small battery in a deserted area, capable of delivering a missile to attack a ship. However, the development of such a system would likely be detected by electronic or satellite surveillance, or one of the many military battalions stationed in the Suez region.
Experts have ensured that Egyptian authorities were fully capable of securing the Suez Canal and preventing potential terrorist attacks, however there is the possibility of “minor” limited attacks in the near future. Military expert Ahmed Ragae said, “I expect to see limited and ineffective attacks that aim only to raise doubts about the canal among western countries.”
Western countries are already keeping a close eye on the turmoil in Egypt. Earlier today in Nile Valley Egypt, a car bomb targeted the convoy of Egypt’s Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim in a suspected assassination attempt. The bomb did not harm Ibrahim; however, as many as 10 people have been injured in the blast. The bombing occurred in Nasr City near the home of the Minister, and in a stronghold region of the Muslim Brotherhood. No party has claimed responsibility for the attack. Egyptian police have reportedly killed two of the attackers.
Ibrahim is the head of the country’s police force, which worked with other security forces to clear out two Muslim Brotherhood protest camps last month, resulting in a deadly crackdown that left hundreds dead and thousands injured. The protesters are seeking the return of deposed president Mohamed Morsi, who was removed from office on 3 July.