Egyptian navy catches divers cutting Internet cable

Authorities say three men were arrested severing the undersea cable of the country's main communications company

Topics: GlobalPost, Egypt, Navy, The Middle East, Internet, ,

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

Global Post CAIRO, Egypt — Egypt’s naval forces caught three scuba divers officials say were trying to cut an undersea internet cable in the Mediterranean on Wednesday.

In a statement on his official Facebook page, Col. Ahmed Mohammed Ali said divers were arrested while “cutting the undersea cable” of Egypt’s main communications company, Telecom Egypt.

“The armed forces foiled an attempt and arrested three divers while they were cutting a submarine cable,” Ali wrote.

The statement, accompanied by a photo of three young men who were apparently Egyptian, said they were captured while on a speeding fishing boat just off the coast of Alexandria. It did not say who they were or why they would want to cut the cable.

Egypt’s internet had been spotty for days, following damage to an undersea cable last week. But after the arrest of three men who allegedly used diving equipment to cut yet another line off the coast of Alexandria, there is speculation that what was initially billed an accident may have been part of a wider plan to take Egypt offline.

According to Agence France-Presse and local press reports, the men have denied the accusations.

They say they were salvaging shipwrecks. Alexandria’s security director is quoted by the official state news agency as saying they severed the cable by mistake.



Still, with Egypt’s rising level of insecurity, it isn’t entirely out of the question that such high-level sabotage would take place. Masked gunmen have targeted the vehicle of the Egypt’s central bank director. Earlier this month, the Egypt country boss of Exxon-Mobil was kidnapped in the Sinai Peninsula, but quickly released.

Chief technology officer of US-based Renesys Jim Cowie said cutting an internet cable could cause data to become congested, making it redirect the long way around the world.

This isn’t the first incidence of a lost connection due to cut cables. In 2008, serious undersea cable cuts caused internet outages across the Middle East on two separate occasions.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    "Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>