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Metrojet Investigation Reportedly Focusing on EgyptAir Mechanic

An EgyptAir maintenance worker with alleged ties to ISIS in Syria is reportedly thought to be responsible for the suspected bombing of Metrojet Flight 9268.

When Metrojet Flight 9268 exploded in the skies over the Sinai Peninsula killing all 224 people aboard in October of last year, officials in both the U.S. and Russia were quick to point to terrorism as a likely cause of the tragedy. Russian President Vladimir Putin almost immediately proclaimed the air disaster an act of terrorism and the Russian government soon announced a $50 million reward for information related to the suspected bombing. Sources in the U.S. government told CNN the chances that the passenger plane was brought down by a terrorist bomb was “99.9 percent certain.”

The ISIS propaganda wing claimed responsibility for the attack and even released images of the type of improvised explosive device it said brought down the aircraft. Egyptian officials, meanwhile, have steadfastly insisted that there is no evidence confirming that the plane was intentionally destroyed. The focus of the official investigation, however, has reportedly revolved around the likelihood that someone placed a bomb on the flight before it departed Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport (SSH).

Now, citing unnamed sources, Reuters reports that investigators have zeroed in on an EgyptAir mechanic whose cousin is a member of ISIS in Syria. According to the report, the unnamed mechanic was taken into custody on Friday along with a baggage handler and two policemen who were allegedly complicit in the plot.

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

EgyptAir officials have so far denied that any of their employees have been arrested. The airline released a statement insisting that all of the employees based at SSH were thoroughly vetted and cleared in the aftermath of the Metrojet disaster.

[Photo: AFP/Getty]

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