Last Update 20:32
Sunday, 22 September 2019

EgyptAir mechanic suspected in Russian plane crash: Sources

Reuters , Friday 29 Jan 2016
Russian airliner
Egypt's Prime Minister Sherif Ismail looks at what is left of a Russian airliner after it crashed in Egypt's central Sinai in October 2015. (Photo: Reuters)
Share/Bookmark
Views: 2402
Share/Bookmark
Views: 2402
An EgyptAir mechanic whose cousin joined ISIS in Syria is suspected of planting a bomb on a Russian passenger plane that was blown out of Egypt's skies in late October, according to sources familiar with the matter.
 
So far Egypt has publicly said it has found no evidence that the MetroJet flight, which crashed in North Sinai Peninsula after takeoff from Sharm el-Sheikh airport, killing all 224 people on board, was brought down by terrorism.
 
A senior security official at the airline denied that any of its employees had been arrested or were under suspicion, and an Interior Ministry official also said there had been no arrests.
 
But the sources, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the ongoing investigation, said the mechanic had been detained, along with two airport policemen and a baggage handler suspected of helping him put the bomb on board.
 
"After learning that one of its members had a relative that worked at the airport, Islamic State delivered a bomb in a handbag to that person," said one of the sources, adding the suspect's cousin joined Islamic State in Syria a year and a half ago.
 
"He was told to not ask any questions and get the bomb on the plane."
 
Another source said of the other suspects: "Two policemen are suspected of playing a role by turning a blind eye to the operation at a security checkpoint. But there is a possibility that they were just not doing their jobs properly."
 
None of the four have been prosecuted so far, the sources told Reuters.
 
The crash has hurt Egypt's tourism industry, a cornerstone of the economy.
 
ISIS's Egypt affiliate Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis is waging an insurgency in North Sinai, mostly far from the tourist resorts along the Red Sea coast.
 
Russia and Western countries have long said that they believe the flight was brought down by a bomb smuggled on board. Egypt however has so far publicly said it has not found any evidence of foul play.
 
Any formal charges or official Egyptian confirmation that a bomb brought down the Airbus A321 could potentially expose Egypt to compensation payments to the families of the victims.
 
The EgyptAir senior security official said state security police had investigated all workers at Sharm el-Sheikh airport without finding any evidence implicating any of them.
 
The official said state security traced the family connections of all the employees and they were cleared.
 
"Any employee who shows sympathy to militants is prevented from going to work in any airport," he told Reuters.
 
An Interior Ministry source also said no one had been arrested in connection with the crash.
 
"We are awaiting results of the investigation."
 
ISIS's online magazine carried a photo of a Schweppes soft drink can it said was used to make an improvised bomb that brought down the Russian airliner.
 
The photo showed a can of Schweppes Gold soft drink and what appeared to be a detonator and switch on a blue background, three simple components that if genuine are likely to cause concern for airline safety officials worldwide.
 
*The story was edited by Ahram Online.
Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.