As a third and then fourth submarine Internet cable are cut, further disrupting power to India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Egypt, Iran, Qatar, and other Middle East countries, officials admit that the cuts to the undersea cables have not been caused by poorly dropped anchors, but deny that the cable cuts are the result of malicious activity.
According to a statement made by Egypt’s Ministry of Communication, “A marine transport committee investigated the traffic of ships in the area, 12 hours before and after the malfunction, where the cables are located to figure out the possibility of being cut by a passing vessel and found out there were no passing ships at that time,” adding that where the cables were cut “was in a restricted area so ships would not have been allowed there to begin with.”
“The area is also marked on maps as a no-go zone and it is therefore ruled out that the damage to the cables was caused by ships,” the statement said.
Still, officials are downplaying the suggestion that the disruptions may be intentional, or related to terrorism, and is attempting to quash conspiracy theories.
A spokesperson for FLAG (Fibre-optic Link Around the Globe) Telecom, which owns two of the cables, said, of the suggestion that the cable damage was intentional, “I think it is doubtful,” although they did admit that the fact that all four cables were cut within such a close time period did seem like a bit of a coincidence.