Miss Mabrouk of Egypt

Check the archives too - a lot of good stuff to enjoy. Me myself? Off to new adventures in the blogosphere, if time permits.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Hotel Security Outsorced to US Agents

U.S. security agents are residing in every major hotel in Egypt, according to Sandmonkey's latest post. He says they're marines or Secret Service staff who are here on a contract from the Ministry of Interior that apparently has realized they need help with hotel security. SM doesn't disapprove but he says it's a sign of what state this country is in when a 2 million strong police force cannot handle hotel security.

There is no link to the source but I would assume these foreign security consultants are not employed by the US government but are hired by a private security firm that has been contracted by the Egyptian government or directly by the hotels after instructions from the government and that those employed are former US military or intelligence personnel. If the story is true I think it's a brilliant move to show the foreign tourist operators and ministers that Egypt is indeed taking the security of visitors seriously - and what else can they do after the Sharm El-Sheik attack than using all means to save the industry?

Should Egypt have handled this alone? We have a strong security apparatus but on the other hand, terrorism is a very special threat and international cooperation is necessary. Protecting hotels from terrorists today requires specialist knowledge and technology – bound to be imported in one way or the other.

Input anyone? I hope it is true. Fact is the hotel security managers typically have a background in casinos and night-venues and have somewhat different concerns. The tourist police are mainly occupied with collecting passport details, searching handbags and posing at the entrances. Whatever the security- and intelligence people have been doing in the past it has left a sloppy impression to say the least. – The typical scene would be a busload of retired Americans queuing in front of a metal detector that only sometimes work while the back entrances for delivery are only protected by a LE 200/month unarmed guard and a cc-monitor. If foreign specialists are improving security, it is all to the better.

Update: I think the issue has been solved in the comments forum now. Just one remaining problem: if they're not on duty, who is then in charge of hotel security?!

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