EgyptAir mechanic suspected of planting bomb that took down Russian airliner

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A mechanic who was working for EgyptAir is suspected of planting the bomb that brought down a Russian airliner last October in the Sinai Peninsula.

Egyptian servicemen approach a piece of wreckage of Russian MetroJet Airbus A321 at the site of the crash in Sinai, Egypt, 01 November 2015. /EPA
Egyptian security personnel at the site of wreckage of a Russian MetroJet Airbus A321 on Nov. 21, 2015. /EPA

Sources who declined to be identified because of the ongoing investigation, told Reuters the mechanic was detained by Egyptian authorities. It was reported the mechanic’s cousin was a member of Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL).

Also detained were two airport policemen and a baggage handler suspected of helping the mechanic put the bomb on board the Airbus A321 on Oct. 31, the sources said.

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

Another source said “two policemen are suspected of playing a role by turning a blind eye to the operation at a security checkpoint. But there is a possibility that they were just not doing their jobs properly.”

None of the four have been prosecuted, the sources told Reuters.

A senior security official at EgyptAir 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.

ISIL’s online magazine published a photo of a Schweppes soft drink can it said was used to make an improvised bomb that brought down the Russian airliner.