Sinai, The Next Somalia: By the Numbers

The Washington Post says Israel is giving more weight to Egyptian public opinion.

Here’s one indication of where Egyptians are on Israel: Ahmad al-Shahat — who climbed 22 stories up the side of a building to pull down an Israeli flag from the roof of Israel’s embassy — was honored by a provincial governor with a job, home and honorary shield. That has to embolden Sinai’s jihadis, who are acquiring weapons from looted Libyan arms stockpiles and probably anticipating more from Syria.

Is the Sinai Peninsula on the way to becoming the next Somalia?  I’m concerned, but judge the numbers (and check out the sources) for yourself:

32: Years of quiet since Israel withdrew from Sinai.

2: Number of aspiring Al-Qaida franchises (Youth of Islam and Al-Qaida in the Sinai Peninsula) known to have set up shop in the Sinai.

8: Israeli killed in recent Eilat-area attacks.

100,000: Rifles supplied to Libya by Ukraine in 2007 and 2008.

20,000: Surface to air missiles believed to be in Libya when NATO airstrikes began.

$3 million: Money budgeted by the US to date for teams that find and destroy anti-aircraft systems, land mines and other munitions.

5.5 kilos: Weapons grade uranium Gaddafi allowed the US to remove from a reactor two years ago.

500-900: Metric tons of raw uranium yellowcake still stored in Libya’s sole reactor.

5: Number of Syrian sites believed to be producing chemical weapons agents such as mustard gas, Sarin and VX.

5: Attacks on the Egyptian-Israeli gas pipeline running through the Sinai since Mubarak was overthrown.

350,000: Bedouins living in the Sinai.

Sources: Greg Sheridan, Jeffrey Goldberg, The Economist, The Media Line, Wall St. Journal, Jewish Tribune

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