In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Kirsty Wark.
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Egypt suffered one
of its it's deadliest ever
terrorist attacks today -
235 were killed and dozens injured
at a mosque in North Sinai province
when Islamist insurgents bombed
and shot worshippers
and then ambulances.
The Egyptian President vowed
to respond with brute force.
But tonight there's a disagreement
over what has caused this
increasingly lethal problem.
If you want to get a head get a hat,
is the old saying -
but if you want to keep your head
should you get a helmet?
Should the government make cycling
helmets and hi vis vests compulsory?
Ooh ah Cantona.
The footballer with the muse,
on his new book and that kick.
Footballers are role
models for young people...
No, but I am not a role model.
I already say that.
I am not an example.
Even today, I am not an example.
I have never been and I never
wanted to be an example.
I am just a human
being with emotions.
It was an attack of
the most awful cruelty.
Egypt in shock...
After its worst ever terror attack.
As two hundred and thirty five
people are killed and dozens more
injured after Islamist insurgents
bombed the al-Rawda mosque in north
Sinai during Friday prayers -
to further the horror...
They then opened fire on worshippers
as they fled outside and reportedly
shot at ambulances on their way
to help the injured.
Today was the latest in a series
of deadly attacks in the province
over the past four years -
the violence has escalated
since the insurgency
in the peninsula was stepped up
after Islamist president
Mohammed Morsi was overthrown,
many of the attacks are attributed
to a group affiliated to so called
IS known as 'Sinai Province'.
Our diplomatic editor
Mark Urban is here...
What more detail do we have? It is
not a well reported part of Egypt
because of the insurgency but we
know it is what would be called a
complex attack. Set up with quite
diabolical forethought and planning.
We can look at a map to get a rough
idea of the area where it happened.
The al-Rawda mask in this small town
of Bir al-Abed on the main road, you
can see it running east to west --
the al-Rawda mosque. It was a Friday
prayer is when the bombs went off.
Then as people came to help, gunman
opening fire causing further
casualties and then finally, as
ambulances were called, both
makeshift roadblocks and gunfire
against the ambulances. Really awful
and carefully planned staged, three
There have been
attacks on Coptic Christians and the
security forces and convoys, but
never before a successful attack on
a mosque in Sinai.
I would hesitate
to be absolute about it but what is
quite clear is that everyone regards
this as a major escalation, for
obvious reasons, if you are claiming
a religious justification as the
Islamic State group does, you have
to be quite careful about targeting
of this kind. Why it has happened,
there is a whole complex set of
reasons for that that come out of
the tangled recent history of Sinai.
For years now North Sinai has seen
worsening balance. And it was that
religious distinction for the people
murdered today, those Sufi Muslims,
those following a moderate form of
religious life that led to the
These guys are totally
refusing any other ideology, any
other thoughts, just the ices
thought, the violence, the ideology,
this village is inhabited by a too
many Sufi Muslim people, they are
peaceful, they are generous and that
is why they are attacked.
killers, a formal claim from the
Islamic State affiliated groups is
yet to be made. But they did
publicise this crime, the beheading
of two Sufi elders who they are
accused of sorcery, for failing to
go along with the militant ideology
of jihad against the government.
President Sisi tonight vowed to
crush the jihadists but the
government campaign against them in
northern Sinai over the past four
years has done little to deal with
the underlying issues.
until now has been to look for a
military solution. It has been
clamping down harder on the several
hundred thousand Bedouin in northern
Sinai. It believes that through
pummelling the population they can
subdue them and until then, that is
not really worked.
In the aftermath
of the attack today there is every
chance that that Sufi tribe that
were targeted today may be
radicalised against the jihadists.
Those people from other tribes who
kept themselves neutral, not taking
the side of the Army or getting
involved with helping the Army, will
be on the side of the Army after
there's quite huge attack.
the atrocity today, the Egyptian
security forces are pledged to
escalate their operations. The stage
in Sinai is set for revenge and
The military option has not worked
in the last four years. President
Sisi said he would stamp it out with
brute force, how will he escalate,
will he look for outside help?
has already ordered air strikes this
evening on targets associated with
these groups. The way this has been
handled up to now has been very much
as an Egyptian problem, I do not
think there is anything on the
ground that anyone else can do. He
can say to the Americans, we want
more Apache helicopters or munitions
and the Americans in the spirit of
casting this as part of a global
battle against jihad as will go
along with that. The one interesting
regional actor in this who is giving
slightly more than that by the
Israelis. Tonight, Tel Aviv town
hall was lit up in Egyptian colours
as a gesture of solidarity, we can
see it in that image. Curious in a
way, the two nations have a peace
treaty but it has always been
described as a cold peace but it is
known that the Israelis with drones
and different networks, but they
have long established in the Bedouin
tribes in the Sinai have been giving
some intelligence assistance to the
Egyptians but that is about the
limit of it as far as outsiders are
I'm joined from Montreal
by the Egyptian-American writer
and commentator Mona Eltahawy.
She writes on Islam and covered
the militant campaign by former
Egyptian President Murbarak
in the Sinai.
Also in the studio
Dr Hisham Hellyer.
He is a senior fellow
at the Atlantic Council
and at the Royal Services Institute
and has written extensively
about the region.
Good evening to both of you. What do
you make of this escalation and
where the escalation was exactly the
That part of Sinai has long
been the object of a brutal campaign
by successive Egyptian presidents.
Just to give you an example in 2004
under President Mubarak, after
attacks in south Sinai, Egyptian
police arrested at least 3000
people, tortured many of them in
North Sinai and took women and
children as hostages. We have had
this awful pattern of atrocities
committed in North Sinai by the
security forces and this delusion by
Egyptian regimes including this
statement today by the President
that this can be stamped out
military. This is an unwinnable war,
this is a part of Egypt that has
long been marginalised and neglected
and security forces whether it is
the police under President Mubarak
or the military under Mohamed Morsi
and now President Sisi has long
designed the tribes there. We have
to find another way of dealing with
That has led to the ups well
of the Islamist insurgents, that is
what you are saying? Rather than
them saying we want to establish a
caliphate for itself.
But I think is
happening there because it has been
long marginalised and neglected and
had all these atrocities committed
against it, there is anger and
resentment and in 1993 when I
covered the then militant campaign
against President Mubarak we saw
similar things happening in Southern
Dr Hellyer, in a way the
success of Egyptian regimes only
have themselves to blame, or is
something else going on?
I would not
say they have themselves to blame,
but the problem is there a goal back
many years, there are a number of
different factors playing a role in
this and certainly you have seen
certain issues becoming exasperated
in the past few years, but what we
have seen recently is the new impact
of Isis within this particular part
of the country which is why you had
a group which goes back to 2010 and
has then been taken up by Isis.
do you make of this step change?
With the attack? The attack is quite
unprecedented. It is probably the
largest attack by non-state militant
terrorists in modern history there
and the fact that they've targeted
civilians in this way, I do not
think anyone should underestimate
that. They targeted a mosque, they
targeted people they could not put
into these boxes in a security
establishment, these were just
regular Egyptians. In the same way
that Coptic Egyptians are regular
Egyptians but they have created a
narrative around that grip and now
that narrative has been expanded to
include all Egyptians.
There is a
state of emergency in Sinai and we
do not know exactly what is
happening. What do you make of
President Sisi talking about brute
For the past few years the
Egyptian state has been winning
eight campaign in the Sinai so brute
force, I am not sure how that will
What do think about response? We
know in the past that a military
solution has failed, what do you
think of President Sisi saying, Isis
going with brute force, we will meet
with more brute force, is that the
only option he has got?
There is no
end to the brute force, he is going
to continue... We have to remember
that the Egyptian military has a far
superior air power, weapons,
ammunition is an heavy armour and
yet they have not been able to quell
this growing insurgency. I remind
everyone of the 1990s and the
militant campaign against President
Mubarak at the time. Those of us who
care about Egyptian security have
pleaded with the Regine 's in Egypt
to develop those areas. There has
been a long-standing development
plan which is just ink on paper for
Sinai. People need jobs and dignity
and a reason to live.
I'm sorry to
interrupt. Do you suggest that if it
feels like it has been marginalised
and ignored and given that it is
such a huge impact on Egypt, can you
end the state of emergency?
Sinai has been under a state of
emergency since 2014 and for many
years it has been under a news
blackout and we do not know the
worst of the atrocities committed by
the Egyptian regime and its security
forces. We know that Egyptian jails
are full of at least 60,000
political prisoners and the current
regime calls anyone who opposes it a
terrorist and thinks they can bomb
its way against anyone who it
defines as part of a terrorist
group. That is not the solution, the
solution is to give people a reason
to live, to develop marginalised
areas of Egypt and the solution is
to tell the Bedouin in Sinai, we
respect you, you are Egyptians and
we can be allies. They are an
influential tribe who have long been
disdained by the Egyptian regime and
they could help people resist the
influence of IS.
These are things
that could work. Do you agree? One
of the issues with this particular
attack is that it is possible and
these are some of the reports coming
out, that this particular village
was attacked precisely because
people in that village were
unwilling to cooperate with Isis.
Whether or not there was sufficient
coordination between them and the
Egyptian state, that is yet to be
That is a huge thing because
the Egyptian economy is suffering,
tourism is suffering terribly,
something has to happen.
been underdeveloped for quite some
time. This is a large-scale problem
across the country that requires
quite a multilayered set of
development plans and I am not sure
if we will see that at the moment.
There is a very strong emphasis on a
security solution and I am not
convinced that particularly after
today with such a brutal and really
ugly tragedy that we are going to
see that change any time soon.
you both very much indeed.
Do cycling helmets save lives?
And should they be compulsory?
That's a question that's going to be
under consideration in a review
of cycling safety being undertaken
by the Transport
Minister Jesse Norman.
He's said that he'd consider
legislation if the evidence
pointed in that direction.
Immediately many cycling campaigners
announced they would strongly
oppose any such move,
including the Olympic gold medallist
Chris Boardman who said that
evidence shows that helmets do not
make a significant difference
to people's safety.
In fact Cycling UK said it
could undermine levels of cycle use.
Here are some cyclists' views.
I wear one.
It's not really my business
if anyone else wants
to wear one, but I wear it.
I've been a cyclist a helluva long
time, but yes, I agree,
I think it's the right thing to do.
Do usually wear one?
Yes, when I'm on a road
bike I always wear one.
Just not today.
Not on the trike.
I'm not on a road
bike, I'm on a trike.
Do you always wear a helmet?
Because I don't want to die.
That's not a bad idea.
I think we should do that, yes.
But not for you?
I wasn't planning to take
on this bike today.
It's a short journey.
But usually you wear a helmet?
Absolutely I do.
So why the resistance to something
that on the face of it
seems like a no brainer?
I'm joined now by Peter
McCabe Chief Executive,
of the charity Headway and Green
party London assembly
member Caroline Russell.
Do you wear a bike helmet?
don't. I cycle from is -- Islington
to City Hall everyday and I cycle in
a mellow way.
What about the
I worry about the traffic
enormously, but there is just as
much risk of having a head injury as
a pedestrian on the pavement as
there is while riding a bike. It's
important that people ride their
bikes in ordinary everyday clothes
when they are getting around.
even high visibility?
I don't have
that, no, I have good bike lights,
but I wear ordinary clothes and I
hope people can see me.
Yes, and I use them during
the day as well as at night.
wear -- have them on in the day
because you are worried about people
crashing into you?
The number of
people who get injured, wearing
helmets, who don't have helmets... A
cycle helmet when protect you from
most crashes which happened you.
that the case?
It's not. We have a
close relationship with survivors of
a brain injury and their families
and I've met many cyclists and
families who have had a loved one
who has had an accident on a bicycle
and I know a family well, young lad,
ten years old, asked if he could go
to his friends after school, went on
a bike and his parents received a
call saying we are about to end if
your son to hospital, if you can get
here on time, we will bring you, but
if not, we are going to try and save
his life. That is the reality.
hear of big accidents, lorries going
into cyclists, and in those
circumstances, presumably at least
having a helmet would save some of
In a crash with a
lorry, a plastic helmet on your head
is not going to help you, it will
help you in a low speed collision,
where you are riding your bike any
come across ice and you are skidding
and you come off and you hit the
curb, then a helmet might help you.
The majority of accidents are that
The collisions where
someone... Where you are hit by a
lorry, where your leg is run over,
helmet is not going to make a blind
bit of difference.
It is personal
freedom, and actually, there is an
argument to say that if you insist
people whereby come it is you will
have fewer people cycling. -- if you
insist people where bike helmets.
That is not the case. Where it has
been introduced, the compulsory
wearing of helmets, in Australia,
the United States, there are many
states which have compulsion for
children to wear cycle helmets, but
you asked, is there evidence, they
spend even evidence around transport
research laboratory 's -- there is
plenty of evidence for the that
people wearing helmets are at less
risk of sustaining injury.
is the case, why have successive
reviews always, with evidence in
both directions, of course, but why
has it never been straightforward?
It seems to be straightforward, you
wear a seat belt in a car, but there
has never ended -- being anything
which says if you wear a helmet it
makes you savour.
The Highway code
advises you to wear a helmet when
you are on a bike, there is evidence
and I think it is overwhelming.
about your children? Do they wear
They did when they were
riding on the road, but if they were
riding on the park, no, I would not
get them to wear a helmet to climb a
Sometimes come in
some cities, you have cycle
superhighways and you are separate,
that is one thing, but in many towns
and cities, especially in rush hour,
I have seen people being clipped so
The thing is, we have
got to cut the danger at source,
getting people who are riding bikes
to put a helmet on their head is not
going to reduce the danger that they
are exposed to, the thing we should
do... It is like the rail industry,
they took the approach to cutting
risk and we should be doing the
same, addressing things like speed
of vehicles and bad behaviour by
people who are driving, talking on
the mobile phone, not concentrating
on causing crashes.
Is it about
feeling free, the winner going
through your hair?
It is about
getting on a bike, the same as
getting on your feet.
But it is an
engine of some sort. A mechanical
thing, going faster than walking.
But not very much faster. I walk
quite fast, cycle slowly. What we
should be doing, if we want to save
lives and stop these crashes we
should make sure we fill in the
potholes and make sure their drivers
behave properly. Rather than
focusing on a plastic hat.
I want to
do all of that, and the cycling is
great and it improves peoples health
and improves the environment and
that is what we should be
encouraging, but it is not a
question of either or, why can't you
wear a helmet and have cycle lanes
and have the safety that you would
like but avoid a child of three that
I met, fell off her Barbie bike, how
far is that? Bank the side of her
head, when I met her at the age of
19 she had had 19 operations --
bound the side. That cost should not
be burdened onto the NHS when it is
We are talking about lots
of different costs to the NHS. We
have a whole society that is
physically inactive, we need to get
more people riding bikes.
It is not
an either or argument.
review comes out and the Department
for Transport, the minister says,
OK, the evidence is overwhelming,
I'm going to insist that people wear
helmets, are you telling me that
people will get off their bikes?
I think there would be mass
infuriated about this because it is
focusing on one small thing that
makes a small difference in summer
crashes. -- in some. It won't make
people safer, which is what we
should be doing.
You would defy the
I will fight very hard to make
sure it doesn't become the law.
Thanks for joining us.
Even if you have no interest
in football, the chances are that
you registered the imperious Gallic
presence of Eric Cantona
when he was a giant
of our national game.
The Frenchman helped
Manchester United to win four
Premier League titles in five
seasons and went a long way
to transforming the club -
and the league - into the huge
brands they are today.
Part of Cantona's appeal
was that he always seemed to have
more to say than his fellow players,
who were either 'over the moon'
or 'gutted for the lads'.
By contrast, Cantona
marked his return to football
after an infamous foul with a gnomic
reference to seagulls,
trawlers and sardines.
Since hanging up his No 7 shirt,
Cantona has made films and adverts,
and written poetry, and his latest
venture is a notebook
of his pensees and sketches.
We sent perpetual bench-warmer
Stephen Smith to meet him.
C'est tres bon.
gets there just first.
To Manchester United fans,
he was the king, but it's more
than 20 years since he abdicated.
At the tender age of just 30.
What's Eric Cantona been
doing with his time?
I sit on the terrace
and I look at the people.
And I take all the energy
and it inspires me for
Or painting or writing.
If I don't do that,
I don't feel alive.
I just die.
I don't say I'm happy to do it.
I just need to feel alive.
To feel a fire inside of me,
something fill me.
Cantona keeps notebooks
and fills them with
his enigmatic words and doodles.
This one, walking your ego.
A few days ago I realised,
have ends along their legs.
His legs, he's like
measuring his sex.
And I speak about the ego.
The subconscious tells
a lot of things.
Very Freudian, maybe.
Very Freudian, yeah.
# Non, rien de rien
# Non, je ne regrette rien...
Cantona says he quit
football when he felt
his passion for the game
beginning to dim.
Could you see yourself playing
for Jose Mourinho, you know,
if you were a younger man?
Would you like to play for him,
his Manchester United?
If you play for Mourinho,
you will sure win something.
Do you like his style?
I don't really like the defensive
style, not his style,
it's more defensive.
When you see him and you see
Guardiola, which is the opposite.
It's like 40 years ago,
30 years ago, when we saw some
wonderful tennis game
between McEnroe and Bjorn Borg.
How do you think England might do
at the World Cup next year?
They have good players,
very good players.
But me, if I was the manager
of England, I would not take
the team a month before.
Because I've seen English players
in England, just meet
a few hours before the game and go
on the pitch and give 100%.
And if they spend too
much time together
before the World Cup, they feel...
They start to be bored
and they want to go back home early.
Me, if I'm managing England, I take
the team, I take the best player,
and we meet just a few hours before,
or maybe the day before the game.
And I'm sure England
will do much much better.
Cantona's notorious for a karate
kick he aimed at a fan, Matthew
Simmons, at Crystal Palace,
after coming in for abuse.
How do you look back on that now?
I love it.
You still love it?
I love it and I don't regret...
This is Simmons, no?
Do you regret this in any way,
because there is this view
that footballers are role
models for young people...
Yes, but I'm not a role model.
I always say that.
I'm not an example.
Even today, I'm not an example.
I never wanted to be an example.
I am just a human
being with emotions.
The Frenchman returned
to football after a ten
month ban and a spell
of community service.
What he said next became
one of the most famous
quotes in the game.
The lawyer from the club...
Because a lot of journalists
waiting for something.
And why do I have to say something?
He said, yeah, you have
to say something.
So, OK, I will say something.
Just say something
that comes to my mind.
When the seagulls...
Follow the trawler, it's
because they think sardines will be
thrown into the sea.
At the end of the day it was better
than if I was to speak.
We still speak about it today.
I had to work hard,
you know, dig deep inside.
I needed something to
fill me up when I was
on my own, something
to aim for, you know.
It's funny, innit.
Sometimes you forget
that you're just a man.
I'm not a man.
I am Cantona.
Cantona played himself
in Ken Loach's film Looking For Eric
offering life coaching to
a depressed postie and United fan.
Where does your
confidence come from?
You seem to have an extraordinary
self belief in yourself.
I need to fill the cage.
You need to?
I need to fill in the cage,
in this room, kind of
escape, you know.
And then I will find
a way to escape.
And the feeling of
freedom is unbelievable.
And then I come back in the cage.
To have this feeling,
you know, for freedom.
But I'm not confident.
I just do it because if
I don't do it I die.
# Non, je ne regrette rien
Cantona's notebook will
surely appear in the
Christmas stockings of United fans.
Beyond that, who knows?
One thing is for sure,
King Eric will remain
If you put everything
in the balance,
you know, I think I did more good
things than bad things.
But when it's good, it's good, huh?
And when it's bad, it's bad.
Eric Cantona. That is nearly it for
tonight. But before we go...
Coca Cola, the Big Mac and baseball
caps, there's no doubt America has
enriched our culture but but when it
comes to Black Friday we've got
some catching up to do.
We've back on cyber Monday.
# We're S-H-O-PP-I-N-G
# We're shopping
# We're S-H-O-PP-I-N-G
# We're shopping...#