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Egypt says no signs of terror attack in airliner crash; Russia rejects report

Ahram Online , Monday 14 Dec 2015
Egypt
File Photo: Egypt's Prime Minister Sherif Ismail (4th R) listen to Egyptian team from police and army at the remines of a plane crash at the desert in central Sinai 1 November (Reuters)
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Egypt's Civil Aviation Ministry said on Monday that a preliminary investigative report on the October crash of a Russian flight in Sinai indicates that the plane was not downed by a bomb, a statement that Russia was quick to dismiss.

"The technical investigative committee has so far not found any evidence indicating criminal or terrorist activity in the downing of the plane," head of the investigative committee, Ayman El-Muqqadam, said in a statement sent to Ahram Online by Egypt's Civil Aviation Ministry.

El-Muqqadam added that the investigative committee is "continuing its work," saying that the preliminary conclusion will be verified with more detailed information in later phases of the probe.

The Egyptian statement added that a copy of the report has been sent to international experts officially taking part in the probe, including experts from Russia, Ireland and France, as well as the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Hours following the release of the aviation ministry statement, Moscow rejected the findings, citing the conclusion reached by Russian experts investigating the crash.

“I can only remind you that the report of our experts from the corresponding special services concluded that this was a terrorist act,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by Russian news agency Sputnik.

Last month, Russia asserted for the first time that a homemade bomb containing up to 1 kilogram of TNT blew apart the Airbus A321, which took off from the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh en route to Russia's St Petersburg.

Russian security chief Alexander Bortnikov said "we can say unequivocally that this was a terrorist attack," prompting Russian President Vladimir Putin to vow to hunt down and punish the perpetrators "in any part of the world."

Since the 31 October crash, which claimed the lives of all 224 people on board the flight when it crashed in midair over central Sinai, Egypt has insisted that its full investigation must be completed to definitively determine the cause of crash.

The Egyptian government has dismissed statements made by the US and Britain which back the Russian assertion of a terrorist attack, saying that only an official probe can reach such a conclusion.

Quashing theories that the bomb was planted on the plane in Turkey, El-Muqqadam affirmed that black box recordings of the passenger jet indicated that the aircraft's route for five days prior to the crash remained confined to flights between Egyptian and Russian airports only.

Several countries have suspended flights to Sharm El-Sheikh or Egypt altogether over security fears, prompting concerns that the country's already troubled tourism industry could face a huge drop.

Russia has also banned incoming flights by Egypt's state-owned airline EgyptAir over concerns regarding the company's security measures on the back of the disaster.

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M Zak
21-12-2015 08:46am
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From Egypt with love
This is a wake up call for Egypt and Egyptians. The world is globalized and the people can read through the lies of the professional media, let alone local Egyptian media. Tourism industry is sometimes called the hospitality industry. Maybe we try to guarantee the safety of our guests with whatever limited resources we have. But when we cannot admit our shortcomings then we sure have a problem. Especially when people have died and the world sees that we care more about our foreign currency. To the Russians and others, it has been a blast having you in Egypt and you are always welcome in our country. For now though, ignore our government, as we Egyptian will and will continue to work on developing our country and ourselves so we can one day (hopefully soon) host you here safely.
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expat
14-12-2015 08:57pm
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sorry to say,but this "report" will hurt you badly!
i was waiting for "this" result ever since the desaster egypt is notorious for playing the innocent fool,even if red handed how this commity is conducting anything without the voice boxes availlable? how it can rule out,that even satelites got the heat residue registered of an explosion? your security at airports(and really not only sharm,but also luxor,cairo etc) are a joke and 99% fake northern sinai is a hot bed of daesh and you go so numb and stupid and play innocent???ß for real again? wait for the result,egypt...no tourism it will be,because NO trust
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Al
14-12-2015 02:31pm
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He said she said
A panel of international aviation exports, including the US, which are neutral towards Russia and Egypt, should review the technical facts from the Russian and Egyptian investigators and confirm the facts. Explosives have impractical footprints and should be found or ruled out scientifically not he said she said!
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American Muslim
17-12-2015 12:19am
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If Egypt does NOT want to accept foreign experts...
Then Egypt should NOT expect foreign tourism, foreign investment, foreigh aid of any kind. Its simple, if you want citizens of the U.S., the U.K., Germany and other Western Countries, as well as other nations to come to Egypt, witih their planes, risking the lives of their citizens, then when a disaster happens that kills foreigners-their host countries have every right to reach conclusions based upon their own independent investigations. Egypt's investigation is a -I mean, really-how long does it take to come up with preliminariy findings? So the fact there is ample evidence of the plane being destroyed by a bomb. It is a rare instance of an absolute finding! Law and International law aren't based upon absolute facts, finding are often had over standards like "beyond a reasonable doubt" (NOT all doubt, but reasonable ones), more likely than not so and so occurred, or the preponderance of the evidence. And in the interim, with valid security concerns, Nations are within their legal rig
Al
15-12-2015 12:33am
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Science is the best option
The heat signature would have result from a plane explosion whether the cause is a bomb, engine, or fuel tank. The odds of a terrorist act are overwhelming, however the Russians should not be trusted, they wanted to go to Syria any way to defend their thug dictator there.
Denial
14-12-2015 10:17pm
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Greedisgood
I believe US said they did detect heat signature with their satillite in region approximately when the plane blow up.
Denial
14-12-2015 08:09pm
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Greedisgood
I believe US said they did detect heat signature with their satillite in region approximately when the plane blow up.
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Ahmed M Ibrahim
14-12-2015 12:41pm
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Plane disaster in Sinai.
Egypt's stand on this issue has been thoroughly vindicated. Jumping to sudden conclusions is a disastrous procedure. The airliner was pretty old and not thoroughly maintained as has been the case with many Russian plane disasters. Moreover there are many other aspects which have to be thoroughly examined. Nonetheless the alacrity with which the Russians and the British reacted was totally unwarranted.
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Mohamed Mohamed
15-12-2015 11:37am
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Sorry, doesn't matter
Dear Ahmed, I understand that it is hard to accept the conclusions of others when the they run counter to one's own. I am at the same time, however, very sorry for you. It does not, in fact, matter wether or not you will be proved right some time. What really matters is the tourism business. Egypt must make sure that it does the utmost to ensure the safety of its visitors and guests. Discussions which follow your script will not assure anyone except of their potential deaths being pointlessly debated afterwards. Look forward and forget your grief about possibly unjust accusations.
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ahmed
14-12-2015 12:34pm
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we want the truth
When the terror attacks happened in Paris, people did not stop going to Paris... Why?? There was honestly about what happened. The laws of physics say that when bodies are spread over a 20 kilo radius, the plane MUST have exploded in the air, it is the only possible answer... A group have already claimed responsibility, explosive residue was found... But STILL we cant be honest? The lies will not bring tourists back.. They will just feel unsafe and go elsewhere. We will learn this the hard way.
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Yeat
14-12-2015 12:24pm
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Egypt is Lying
Wow Egypt is more concerned about their tourism revenue than the lives of the passengers on that plane. G.F.U Egypt everyone is aware of your BS.
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