Panetta tries to help secure Sinai with intel aid
Members of the Egyptian security forces take position on a sand dune during an operation in the northern Sinai peninsula on August 08, 2012.
August 20th, 2012
05:27 PM ET

Panetta tries to help secure Sinai with intel aid

By Barbara Starr

Looking to increase security in the Sinai Peninsula, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is offering Egypt a package of classified intelligence-sharing capabilities designed to help it identify military threats in the area and reassure Israel that Egypt can deal with rising militancy along Israel's border, according to a senior Pentagon official.

At the core, is an offer to supply Egypt's military in Sinai with truck-mounted sensors that provide an electronic signal identifying which nation is operating the vehicle. This technology, commonly known as "blue force tracker," has been widely used in Iraq and Afghanistan to identify vehicles at great distances. It is also possible a commercial version of the technology will be offered to the international peacekeeping force in Sinai that includes 700 U.S. troops.

The international force is not authorized to fight extremists, but is facing the potential of increased violence in the region. The official emphasized that nothing has been decided yet, and noted any change in the international peacekeeping force must be agreed to by all nations.

At the same time, the United States is also offering Egypt increased intelligence sharing, including satellite imagery and drone flights and intercepts of cell phone and other communications among militants suspected of planning attacks, according to an Obama administration official.

The package was discussed by Panetta during his recent trips to Egypt and Israel. The administration official emphasized that the offer is aimed strongly at helping Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy improve security in Sinai, but also to reassure Israel.

Earlier this month, more than a dozen Egyptian soldiers were killed near the Israeli border when gunmen attacked a post and tried to enter Israel, just one of the latest incidents in a growing trend of violence.

soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. win 7

    buy win 7 home.thank you.

    February 22, 2013 at 1:49 am | Reply
  2. Truth

    It seems, Mr. US defense is giving US tech to Muslim Brotherhood, knowingly or out ignorance to the true nature of MB that ultimately will heart Israel and US equally; a truly foolish and dangerous move!
    G-D will safeguard the chosen.

    August 22, 2012 at 2:47 am | Reply
    • Thinker23

      The best way to deal with several enemies simultaneously is to make them fight each other. During WWII the US helped the Soviets in their fight against the Nazis... Not necessarily because the American leaders loved Stalin's bloody dictatorship any better than they've loved Hitler's bloody dictatorship. It may similarly make sense to help the Egyptian Islamists to fight the Islamists in Gaza, especially considering that theIslamists in Gaza are being supported by Islamists in Tehran.

      August 22, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Reply
  3. Jannani

    America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953, America overthrow Iran's democratic government and installed a brutal dictator Shah of Iran. America helped Shah to established secret police and killed hundreds of thousands of Iranians.
    During Iran-Iraq war, America helped Saddam Hussein and killed one million Iranians. America is the only country that shot down Iran's civilian air plain and killed all 290 passengers.
    In 2003, America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and displaced 4,000,000+ Iraqi people.
    Now, America is a failed country with huge debt. Its debt will be 24 trillion by 2015.
    Every other day a city in America is declaring bankruptcy. ha ha ha

    August 21, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Reply
    • Paul II

      Overthrowing the Iranian govt was, in hindsight, a stupid move by the US, but I don't think the Shah was any less brutal than the crushing theocracy that replaced him. The domestics airliner, ok, but the US didn't kill 1000000 or drive out 4000000, it was the civil war between Muslims that did that.

      August 22, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Reply
  4. Lives with his Mom

    Nice to see that Egypt is still the puppet of Israel and America.

    August 21, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Reply
  5. ben katz

    the days of large scale arab israeli wars are over. from now on it'll be the IDF vs. militant groups and terrorism. the US, egypt, and israel should cooperate to clean up the sinai

    August 21, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Reply
    • Truth

      wake up and smell the coffee!

      August 22, 2012 at 3:14 am | Reply
  6. Jon

    It looks like the U.S. is giving military supplies and information to a country that the U.S. actually has a good track-record with (at least since the Yom Kippur War)... Kudos

    August 21, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Reply
    • Cut Egyptian Aid NOW

      You consider the open crucifixion of Christians a "good track record"? Hilary and Huma need to report to Egypt asap!

      August 22, 2012 at 9:28 am | Reply
  7. James Johnson

    I'm sure those professionally trained from different Countries have considered a possible Trojan Horse situation whether the Sinai, Chechnya, the Southern Border of the U.S., Afghanistan, etc.

    August 21, 2012 at 6:56 am | Reply

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