Speaking on a visit to Australia, Foreign Secretary William Hague cast doubt on claims the hostage-taking in Algeria was in response to France's military intervention in Mali: 'That is a convenient excuse, but usually operations like this take longer to plan'.
As the UK is backing France's military action with transport planes, he is obviously desperate to avoid any suggestion that our involvement in Mali is putting UK citizens at risk, hence his claim it was planned long before that.
Not being a military strategist or ever planned a hostage taking, I have no idea how long it takes to plan but I can't see why it would take more than the week since the conflict started.
An armed group turned up at a gas plant and took it over, how much planning does that take and the hostage takers have already told us the hostage taking was retaliation for France's actions in Mali, their statement saying: 'We announce that we have successfully staged a large-scale attack in response to the crusade being waged by French forces in Mali'.
Seems to me that our Foreign Secretary thinks he knows better than the hostage takers why they are doing it. I remember him saying Colonel Gaddafi was on route to Venezuela during the Libya conflict when he was actually in a Sirte drain-pipe so i don't out much store in his words anyway.
I have heard an interesting conspiracy theory why France is in Mali, and we all love a conspiracy theory.
The German Bundesbank has confirmed it is taking back all 370 tonnes of German gold stored in France, worth £20 billion.
Coincidentally, Mali just happens to be the third largest gold producer. Hmmm.