Britain has decided to allow flights to resume from the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh as the probe into Saturday’s crash of a Russian MetroJet continues.
At present there are 20,000 UK citizens stranded in the area, most of them tourists.
The UK prime minister’s office had suspended flights after the Russian airliner apparently exploded above the Sinai Peninsula while en route to St. Petersburg from Sharm el-Sheikh.
According to the latest intelligence, Da’esh (ISIS) may indeed have succeeded in planting a barometric pressure bomb aboard the aircraft prior to its departure from the airport.
“Following further discussions with the airlines and the Egyptians, we have agreed on a package of additional security measures that is being put in place rapidly,” Prime Minister David Cameron’s office said in a statement. “Consequently the government has decided, in consultation with the airlines that flights from Sharm to the UK will resume tomorrow.”
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi met with Cameron at his office in London on Thursday.
Cameron told journalists that “more likely than not” it was a terrorist bomb that brought down the aircraft – a view shared by UK and U.S. intelligence personnel, as well as other intelligence operatives in the Middle East.
“I think there is a possibility that there was a bomb on board,” agreed President Barack Obama in a radio interview late Thursday, “and we’re taking that very seriously.”
The UK has sent extra security personnel to the airport in Sharm el-Sheikh to carry out special measures.
Checked bags are being sent back to the UK separately, passengers are being body-searched and carry-on luggage only is being allowed on all return flights. Investigators are checking for explosive residue, as are the bodies of the victims of the doomed flight.Hana Levi Julian