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Cablegate: Expiration of August 18 Public Announcement For

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS CAIRO 008499

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED

DEPT FOR CA/OCS/ACS/NESA, NEA/ELA, DS/IP/NEA, AND NEA/EX

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CASC ASEC AMGT PTER EG
SUBJECT: EXPIRATION OF AUGUST 18 PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT FOR
EGYPT

REF: A. CAIRO 08073
B. CAIRO 07359
C. STATE 153120
D. CAIRO 05923

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: DUE TO IMPROVEMENTS TO THE OVERALL
SECURITY SITUATION IN EGYPT, POST RECOMMENDS THAT THE AUGUST
18, 2005 PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT (PA) BE ALLOWED TO EXPIRE ON
NOVEMBER 15, AND THAT NO NEW PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT BE ISSUED.
THE RECENTLY UPDATED LANGUAGE OF THE EGYPT CONSULAR
INFORMATION SHEET (CIS) REFLECTS THE INCIDENTS THAT
PRECIPITATED THE PA AND ADVISES TRAVELERS TO EGYPT TO
EXERCISE CAUTION. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) CAIRO'S EMERGENCY ACTION COMMITTEE (EAC) HAS
REVIEWED EGYPT'S SECURITY ENVIRONMENT IN ITS LAST THREE
MEETINGS, WITH SPECIAL FOCUS ON THE CURRENT SITUATION IN THE
SINAI. AT THE OCTOBER 17 FULL EAC (REF. A), THERE WAS
UNANIMOUS AGREEMENT THAT THE PA OF AUGUST 18 (REF. C) BE
ALLOWED TO EXPIRE, AND THAT AN UPDATED CIS PROVIDE THE
PUBLIC WITH INFORMATION NECESSARY TO MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT
TRAVEL TO THE SINAI.

3. (SBU) THERE HAVE BEEN SIGNIFICANT SECURITY IMPROVEMENTS
IN THE SINAI SINCE THE TERRORIST BOMBINGS AT THE SOUTH SINAI
RESORT OF SHARM EL SHEIKH ON JULY 23 THAT PROMPTED THE
PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT. THE EGYPTIAN INVESTIGATION INTO THE
OCTOBER 2004 TABA/NUWEIBA AND JULY 2005 SHARM EL SHEIKH
BOMBINGS HAS YIELDED SEVERAL SUSPECTS (SOME OF WHOM ARE ON
TRIAL NOW) AND HAS RESULTED IN THE DEATHS OF OTHERS IN
SHOOTOUTS. AS OF NOVEMBER 2005, A SMALL BAND OF SUSPECTS IS
STILL HOLED UP IN THE JABEL HALAL REGION, A MOUNTAINOUS AREA
IN NE SINAI. THE GOE HAS SURROUNDED THE MASSIF. RECENTLY,
THE GOE HAS GREATLY INCREASED SECURITY IN THE SINAI,
ERECTING ROADBLOCKS INTO MAJOR TOURIST AREAS, AND STATIONING
EXPLOSIVE DETECTING DOGS AT THE TUNNEL UNDER THE SINAI
CANAL, THE MAIN TRANSIT POINT INTO THE SINAI FROM CAIRO.

4. (SBU) FINALLY, THE PRIVATE SECTOR HAS TAKEN ACTION TO
INCREASE SECURITY OF THEIR BUSINESSES IN THE TOURIST AREAS
OF THE SINAI. FOR EXAMPLE, AT TABA HEIGHTS, LOCATION OF
SEVERAL MAJOR TOURIST HOTELS, ALL VEHICLES ARE CHECKED ON
THE ACCESS ROAD ALMOST A MILE BEFORE THE RESORTS. EACH
HOTEL ALSO HAS A SECONDARY CHECK BEFORE ITS OWN PROPERTY.
IN SHARM, BOLLARDS, GATES, AND OTHER PHYSICAL BARRIERS BLOCK
ALMOST EVERY DRIVEWAY FROM THE MAIN ROAD. IN ADDITION,
BERMS, TRENCHES, AND OTHER PHYSICAL BARRIERS ARE BEING
ERECTED IN THE DESERT TO THWART WOULD-BE BOMBERS.

5. (SBU) WHILE THE AFOREMENTIONED MEASURES ARE NOT
FOOLPROOF, THE CONSENSUS OF THE EAC IS THAT -- IN THE
ABSENCE OF ANY SPECIFIC INTELLIGENCE INDICATING PLANNING FOR
AN ATTACK IN THE SINAI -- THE REVISED LANGUAGE OF THE CIS
COUPLED WITH THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA PUBLIC
ANNOUNCEMENT PROVIDES AMPLE INFORMATION TO THE PUBLIC. THE
REVISED CIS DROPS THE ADMONITION THAT TRAVELERS "AVOID" THE
SINAI, AND INSTEAD URGES THAT THEY "EXERCISE CAUTION" SHOULD
THEY CHOOSE TO TRAVEL THERE OR ANY OTHER LOCATION IN EGYPT.

6. (SBU) THE EAC WILL REMAINED SEIZED WITH THE SECURITY
SITUATION IN EGYPT -- ESPECIALLY THE SINAI.

RICCIARDONE

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