EgyptAir flight blown up by ISIS time bomb
EgyptAir flight MS804, which took off at 11:09 p.m. on Thursday May 19 from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, was supposed to land at 3:55 a.m. in Cairo. However, it dropped off the radar screens of Greek and Egyptian flight controllers at 2:45 a.m. and crashed into the Mediterranean about 10 miles inside Egypt’s territorial waters.
The Airbus A320-232 had 66 people aboard including seven crew members, three security guards, 30 Egyptian citizens, 17 French nationals as well as citizens of Iraq, Saudi Arabia and other countries. The plane, which was built in 2003, was flown by two pilots who each had thousands of hours of cockpit experience. Reports by Egypt’s airport authority said the cargo did not contain dangerous materials or anything else out of the ordinary.
Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said terrorism could not be ruled out, emphasizing that there were no distress calls made from the cockpit and that there were no reports showing deviation from the flight path or altitude before the plane disappeared. The spokesman of the Egyptian military, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Samir, confirmed in a posting on the military’s Facebook page that the pilots did not send out a distress signal.
Following the disappearance, French President Francois Hollande convened an emergency meeting Thursday morning at the Elysee Palace.
Reports on social media said that witnesses in Greece saw a large ball of fire in the sky, which may strengthen the assumption that flight MS804 carried a time bomb that was set to explode when the plane was in Egyptian airspace.
DEBKAfile’s counterterrorism sources say that if the plane was downed by an act of terror, it would be the latest major blow by ISIS to international civilian aviation, Egyptian tourism, and the security, counterterror and intelligence services of France and Egypt.
- It is the second time in less than a year that ISIS has succeeded in using a time bomb to down a passenger plane linked to Egypt. The first one was a Russian Airbus A321 that took off from Sharm
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