William Tucker


By William Tucker
Chief Correspondent for In Homeland Security

At approximately 10:30 in Egypt this morning a large blast occurred outside the residence of Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Ibrahim. Ibrahim was unharmed in the attack, but the Minister did say that several members of his security detail were injured as well as a number of bystanders. Judging by the devastation found at the scene this claim is certainly possible. Witnesses to the actual detonation of the explosive device have offered contradictory claims, however. Some claimed that the device was in a vehicle and remotely detonated, while other claim a device was thrown from a moving vehicle. The pictures of the attack site show that the device was large enough to destroy several vehicles on the street, but building were mostly intact. Most of the damage to the permanent structures was superficial and only found on the façade of the buildings. This suggests that the device used may have been detonated prematurely as it would have been deadly had Ibrahim and his security detail been outside preparing to leave the residence. It is possible that this was an amateurish attack, but the size of the device and the successful detonation against a protected target suggests that the perpetrators have some operational experience. As time goes on it will be worth monitoring any escalation or increases in sophistication of such activity.