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Mechanic Suspected in Russian Plane Crash Detained

Mechanic Suspected in Russian  Plane Crash DetainedMechanic Suspected in Russian  Plane Crash Detained

An EgyptAir mechanic whose cousin joined the self-styled Islamic State militant group in Syria is suspected of planting a bomb on a Russian passenger plane that was blown out of Egypt’s skies in late October, according to sources familiar with the matter.

So far, Egypt has publicly said it has found no evidence that the MetroJet flight, which crashed in the Sinai Peninsula after takeoff from Sharm el-Sheikh airport, killing all 224 people on board, was brought down by terrorism, Reuters reported.

A senior security official at the airline denied that any of its employees had been arrested or were under suspicion, and an Interior Ministry official also said there had been no arrests.

But the sources, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the ongoing investigation, said the mechanic had been detained, along with two airport policemen and a baggage handler suspected of helping him put the bomb on board.

“After learning that one of its members had a relative that worked at the airport, Islamic State delivered a bomb in a handbag to that person,” said one of the sources, adding that the suspect’s cousin joined IS in Syria a year and a half ago.

“He was told to not ask any questions and get the bomb on the plane.”

Russia and western countries have long said that they believe the flight was brought down by a bomb smuggled on board. Egypt, however, has so far publicly said it has not found any evidence of foul play.

The EgyptAir senior security official said state security police had investigated all workers at Sharm el-Sheikh airport without finding any evidence implicating any of them.

The official said state security traced the family connections of all the employees and they were cleared.

“Any employee who shows sympathy to militants is prevented from going to work in any airport,” he said.

An Interior Ministry source also said no one had been arrested in connection with the crash.

“We are awaiting results of the investigation.”

Financialtribune.com