Egypt Air Mechanic Whose Cousin Is An Islamic State Fighter Is Among 4 People Arrested On Suspicion Of Planting A Bomb On Board Russian Passenger Jet That Crashed In Sinai Last October Killing All 224 Passengers & Crew On Board

Egypt Air Mechanic Whose Cousin Is An Islamic State Fighter Is Among 4 People Arrested On Suspicion Of Planting A Bomb On Board Russian Passenger Jet That Crashed In Sinai Last October Killing All 224 Passengers & Crew On Board

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     The Daily Mail Online is reporting that an Egypt Air mechanic, whose cousin is an Islamic State fighter, is among four people who have been arrested on suspicion of planting a bomb on board the doomed Airbus 321 MetroJet that exploded over the Sinai October 31, 2015.  Julian Robinson, writing on the publication’s January 29, 2016 website, that despite public denials by security officials, the mechanic, as well as two airport policeman and a baggage handler have all been detained and have been undergoing questioning.  A source of the Daily Mail Online, who is close to the investigation; but, spoke on the condition of anonymity, said “after learning one of its members had a relative at worked at the airport, the Islamic State delivered a bomb in a handbag to that person,” and added that the suspects cousin joined the Islamic State in Syria eighteen months ago. He was told not to ask any questions, and get the bomb on the plane.”  A second source of the publication added that:  “The two policemen are suspected of playing a role by turning a blind eye to the operation at a security checkpoint.  But, the source also said that there is a possibility that they were just not doing their jobs properly.”

     Mr. Robinson adds that “any formal charges , or 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-Shiekh airport, without finding any evidence implicating any of them.”  No real surprise here if true.  The trusted insider is the most profound and difficult of threats to thwart.   And, acknowledging the threat could further dampen tourism to the resort, which is very important to Egypt’s economic viability.

     In addition to compensation payments, it is just plain embarrassing to Egyptian authorities that the Islamic State appears to have exploited a weakness at the airport and family connections to at least one individual to successfully pull off the operation.  Egyptian authorities are loathe to admit that something like this operation could occur, especially at a premier resort and vacation destination for many Europeans, Russians, and others.  President Sisi knows he has a Tiger-By-The-Tail with respect to an Islamic State presence, and/or sympathizers, especially in the Sinai region; but, he does not want to publicly elevate their profile in the country — any more than it already is.  The fact that Egypt has not officially concluded that the downing of the passenger airliner was due to terrorism and a bomb on board, shows how reluctant Egyptian security officials are at acknowledging that they have more of an Islamic State threat in the Sinai than they care to admit.  Perhaps the airport security officials aren’t the only ones turning a blind eye to what is evident to most.  Then again, we have our own issues here in America of turning a blind eye to the obvious, with a POTUS and an administration that refuses to call this threat what it is — militant Islam.  Instead, Fort Hood was workplace violence, and Benghazi happened due to an anti-Islam video.  V/R, RCP

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