EgyptAir Flight MS804: No Random Target
We are entering a new era – one in which terrorists place bombs in the sky and detonate them whenever they see fit. EgyptAir MS804 is just the latest example of their ability to transform an airliner into an IED.
Authorities almost immediately agreed that MS804 was likely the victim of a terrorist attack. However, they aren’t able to discern how that took place, given the extensive passenger screening the flight underwent on each leg of its journey.
Ascertaining the method requires a look at the history of this particular flight and an honest appraisal of who stood to gain from the destruction of this plane and the brutal slaughter of its passengers and crew.
Since 9/11, airline security has been focused on passengers and their luggage. However, recent terror events such as the explosion of the Russian jetliner over the Sinai Peninsula in October make the case that our focus ought to turn to those who manage airport security and/or have access to aircraft while it is on the ground. Every plane coming out of an area of unrest and Islamist activity is a potential bomb in the skies.
This plane, which originated in Cairo as MS803, was set for a round-trip journey to Paris. The plane was on the ground in Cairo a full 24 hours before departing for Paris at 4:50 pm (Cairo time). It arrived in Paris at 9:40 pm (Paris time), and by 10:45 pm, it had taken off for the return leg of the journey.
While on the ground in Paris, there was little time for a thorough security check of the aircraft, but due to the short turnaround, there was equally little time to smuggle a bomb on board, especially in light of the increased security presence at Charles de Gaulle Airport.
Exactly six hours from the time it originally departed Cairo, the plane made its two inexplicable maneuvers before disappearing entirely, almost certainly from a catastrophic mid-air explosion.
This timeline would suggest that the lethal device was already on the airliner before it left Cairo.
The terrorists who placed the explosive device on MS804, I believe, were embedded among the security personnel entrusted with sweeping the aircraft in Cairo for potential danger. There are reasons to suspect the compromise of the security personnel in Egypt other than opportunity and access. Events in Egypt in recent weeks provide some insight.
Beginning a fortnight ago, the country of Egypt has been wracked with violence and unrest between Muslim Brotherhood-sponsored rioters and the government of Egyptian president el-Sisi.
Egyptian National Police (the equivalent of our Homeland Security, FBI, and CIA rolled into one) are themselves perpetrating much of the violence, directed at their own citizens. Hundreds of shops, hotels, and historic shopping areas throughout the country have been put to the torch, further crippling an already weak and tottering economy. Citizens are threatened and assaulted daily by members of the National Police, an organization that appears to be unraveling itself – perhaps irreparably.
The National Police have been infiltrated and undermined by a number of Muslim Brotherhood members/sympathizers, many of whom had participated in the Arab Spring uprising, sabotaging police efforts to regain control of Tahrir Square. They were not relieved from their duties for their actions, but only reassigned, giving rise to speculation that the Muslim Brotherhood had “friends in high places” among the security apparatus of the Egyptian government.
These same officers surfaced again recently as the prime suspects in theassassination of eight police officials. The eight plainclothes officers died when the mini-bus in which they were traveling was
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