Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

French education: Reinventing the idea of school

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Frogs legs and brains? The French food hard to stomach

Read more

#TECH 24

Station F: Putting Paris on the global tech map

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Davos 2017: 'I believe in the power of entrepreneurs to change the world'

Read more

#THE 51%

Equality in the boardroom: French law requires large firms to have 40% women on boards

Read more

FASHION

Men's fashion: Winter 2017/2018 collections shake up gender barriers

Read more

ENCORE!

Turkish writer Aslı Erdoğan speaks out about her time behind bars

Read more

REVISITED

Video: Threat of economic crisis still looms in Zimbabwe

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

DAVOS 2017: Has the bubble burst?

Read more

Africa

Egypt detains 'French spy bird'

© AP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-09-01

Egyptian authorities have detained a bird on suspicion of spying after spotting an electronic device tied to its leg. Instead they found that the apparatus was a wildlife tracker used by French scientists to study the movement of migrating birds.

In a case that ruffled feathers in Egypt, authorities have detained a migratory bird that a citizen suspected of being a spy.

A man in Egypt’s Qena governorate, some 450 kilometers (280 miles) southeast of Cairo, found the suspicious bird among four others near his home and brought them to a police station Friday, said Mohammed Kamal, the head of the security in the region.

There, officers and the man puzzled over the electronic device attached to the suspected winged infiltrator. On Saturday, a veterinary committee called by concerned government officials determined the device was neither a bomb nor a spying device.

Instead, they discovered it was a wildlife tracker used by French scientists to follow the movement of migrating birds, said Ayman Abdallah, the head of Qena veterinary services. Abdallah said the device stopped working when the bird crossed the French border, absolving it of being an avian Mata Hari.

With turmoil gripping Egypt following the July 3 popularly backed military coup that overthrew the country’s president, authorities and citizens remain highly suspicious of anything foreign. Conspiracy theories easily find their ways into cafe discussion – as well as some media in the country.

Earlier this year, a security guard filed a police report after capturing a pigeon he said carried microfilm. A previous rumor in 2010 blamed a series of shark attacks along Egypt’s Mediterranean coast on an Israeli plot. It wasn’t.

In the bird’s case, even military officials ultimately had to deny the bird carried any spying devices. They spoke Saturday on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to journalists.

Yet later, the state-run daily newspaper Al-Ahram quoted Kamal as saying the incident showed the patriotism of the man who captured the bird in the first place.

The bird remains caged for now, as Abdallah said authorities must receive permission from prosecutors to release the animal.

But one mystery still remains: Abdallah and others called the bird a swan. Photographs obtained by The Associated Press showed what appeared to be a stork locked behind bars in the police station.

(AP)

Date created : 2013-09-01

  • EGYPT

    Brotherhood leader Badie 'suffers heart attack' in jail

    Read more

  • EGYPT

    Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood stage scattered protests

    Read more

  • EGYPT

    Egypt's Mubarak, Muslim Brotherhood trials adjourned

    Read more

COMMENT(S)