Both the UK and the US are thinking that a bomb is what brought down the Russian plane over Egypt’s Sinai region last month, with one US official talking with CNN going as far as saying they are “99.9%” sure of the cause. Another official quoted by CNN called the bomb theory “likely”, with the BBC reporting that UK investigators are also inclined towards a bomb on the plane as the reason the plane crashed.
The Russian commercial jet—flying from Egypt to Russia—crashed on October 31, killing 224 people. The BBC said in their November 6 report that the British weren’t certain the plane didn’t crash for a non-terrorism reason. Still, CNN reported that the British and the US are inclined to believe the bomb cause in large part due to intercepted communications between ISIS (ISIL) in Syria and an affiliate terror group in Egypt. Speaking of intelligence, Israel is also assisting by providing the US and UK intercepted communications, according to CNN.
The situation is serious enough that the US is adding an “additional layer” of airport security for flights from “certain foreign airports in the region,” according to a press statement from the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The release, from DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson last Friday, noted that while the tragedy was still being investigated, US officials have “identified a series of interim, precautionary enhancements to aviation security” for commercial flights going to the US.
The Americans aren’t the only one working on security measures. A press statement on the President of Russia website noted that Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi agreed to tell government agencies— including security agencies—to “maintain active cooperation.”
The leaders said that “all of these actions are aimed toward ensuring the overall efficacy of security measures taken by the Egyptian authorities at the nation’s airports,” according to the press summary of the phone call.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, November 8, 2015)