OAN’s James Meyers
8:40 AM – Thursday, October 12, 2023
Egypt warned Israeli intelligence officials of a possible terrorist attack three days before Hamas killed almost 1,300 people, according to Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“We know the Egyptian intelligence service handed this off days before the terrorist invasion, if you will, or attack,” Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) told CNN following a closed-door intelligence briefing. “So, there’s a lot of questions about that.”
McCaul also reportedly added that the attack could have been planned as far back as a year ago. “We’re not quite sure how we missed it. We’re not quite sure how Israel missed it.”
The comments by the Texas Republican came two days after an Egyptian intelligence official told the Associated Press that Israel “underestimated” warnings from Cairo that “an explosion of the situation is coming, and very soon, and it would be big.”
However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office denied the report and said it was “totally fake news.”
“No message in advance has arrived from Egypt and the Prime Minister has neither spoken, nor met, with the head of Egyptian intelligence since the formation of the government, neither directly nor indirectly.”
Additionally, McCaul said Wednesday that it was unclear at what level the intelligence was shared.
“I’m sure there are a lot of threat streams coming in to Israeli intelligence, particularly out of Gaza and the West Bank,” he told CNN host Wolf Blitzer. “But, you know, the thing is, Wolf, they — we know Hamas have been planning this attack for quite some time, perhaps even up to a year ago. And the idea that it was not caught raises some concerns, also when it comes to groups like Hezbollah and Iran as well. We need to make sure we don’t make that mistake.”
“For Israel, this is like their 9/11,” McCaul added. “I mean, it really is. It’s very reminiscent of what we went through in the United States when we did have a failure of intelligence.”
The Jewish state was caught off guard by Saturday’s surprise terrorist attack, when over 1,500 Hamas terrorists breached the Gaza border fence in a number of different locations, killing over 1,200 Israeli civilians, leaving 3,000 wounded and over 100 taken hostage. It took Israel’s military several hours to respond to the killings.
“This is a major failure,” admitted Yaakov Amidror, a former national security adviser to Netanyahu. “This operation actually proves that the (Israeli intelligence) abilities in Gaza were no good.”
President Joe Biden has pledged support to Israel but reports suggest that he privately urged Netanyahu to minimize civilian casualties with the ongoing retaliatory air strikes in Gaza.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Israel Thursday, while Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is set to arrive on Friday.
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