Although there has been no official declaration from Russia or Egypt as to the cause of the crash that claimed over 240 lives in the Sinai Peninsula, Britain seems to have little doubt it was an ISIS terror attack.The Daily Mail reports “British spies are to interrogate Egyptian baggage handlers after intercepted intelligence pointed to an ISIS mole smuggling a bomb into the hold of the doomed Russian jet, it was revealed today.
MI5 heard ‘chatter’ from extremists in the Sinai Peninsula revealed there is a ‘high probability’ the disaster was caused by an explosion on board.Spies also believe a ‘flash’ in the sky when the plane came down and the lack of a distress signal points to a bomb so attention is now being focussed on baggage handlers, a Downing Street source told MailOnline.
Tourists were also routinely offered the chance to avoid security altogether by paying £15 and passengers were seen handing over cash in the long queues at Sharm today, according to the BBC.”
Here’s what the Daily Mail reports as the key theories:
Rogue baggage handler: British spies have made this their number one theory and MI6 on the ground in Egypt will interview staff. It is feared that a baggage handler was either bribed to carry a bomb in a suitcase or brought it into the airport and put it in with the normal luggage.
Suicide bomber: Tourists have said they paid £15 to avoid security altogether – an easy and cheap way for someone to carry explosives on to the plane without detection
Liquid bomber: Holidaymakers say they have seen people bringing litres of water and soft drinks through security at Sharm airport without being stopped. Large amounts of liquids have been banned after it emerged terrorists planned to use liquid bombs on transatlantic flights disguised as soft drink bottles.Runway intruder: British security are set to guard British planes landing in Sharm el-Sheikh because of concerns they could be tampered with.
This approach is in case someone managed to break through the perimeter to plant the bomb.
In May flights were disrupted after a 29-year-old man crawled through the fence and started trying doors of a plane.The man then approached a plane that was parked on the apron, climbed the boarding stairs and attempted to gain entry.
He was unable to get inside the plane because its doors were locked. While security personnel scrambled to stop him the man took a wedge placed in front of one of the plane’s wheels and threw it into the engine.
Russia, Egypt and the UK are all working together on the huge counter-terror operation, but that’s not to say it’s going smoothly.
The Mail says” Prime Minister David Cameron still faced a furious backlash from both Russia and Egypt over his own handling of the Sharm El Sheikh crisis, as it emerged British spies uncovered intelligence that the plane crash was caused by an Islamic State bomb – and Russia says Britain isn’t “sharing.”
In any event, each of the three nations all have their reasons for wanting to be first with the correct theory. Egypt doesn’t want to destroy its tourism industry or admit it has an ISIS problem; Russia can’t admit it failed to protect its citizens – and doesn’t want to be forced into a conflict with ISIS, considering it’s working on propping up the Assad regime and Britain needs to look strong on counter-terrorism, considering the growing radicalization within its borders.
This tragic incident simply proves ISIS and radical Islam is EVERONE’s problem. And I fear it will not be the last.
[Note: This article was written by Michele Hickford]