Earlier today, Egyptian security officials said that authorities have located and detained two employees of the Sarm al-Sheikh airport for specific questioning in connection with the October 31 Russian jet explosion which killed the 224 people on board.
One of the security officials stated that, “Seventeen people are being held, two of them are suspected of helping whoever planted the bomb on the plane at Sharm al-Sheikh airport.”
It is reported that closed circuit television (CCTV) footage showed a baggage worker carrying a suitcase from one airport building to another man, who then loaded the luggage onto the airliner from beneath the plane while it sat on the runway.
An anonymous airport media department employee also confirmed that two members of the ground crew were located and detained for questioning last night. The media departments for the civil aviation and interior ministries denied that there have been any arrests in the matter.
Russia’s FSB security service said earlier today that it was absolutely convinced a bomb had gone off during the flight, bringing down the plane. Russia has now joined the United States and Britain in reaching that conclusion.
At this time, Egypt has not yet officially confirmed that a bomb was in fact responsible, saying it wishes to wait until all investigations are thoroughly completed before reaching a conclusion.
Security forces are also searching for two employees who apparently left a baggage-scanning machine unattended for a length of time as passengers boarded the doomed Russian jet.
Also according to the security officials, investigators have questioned all of the airport staff involved with handling and servicing the Russian airplane, its bags and passengers before and after the crash happened.
Since the tragedy, several flights to and from Sharm al-Sheikh airport have been suspended, raising significant concerns that Egypt’s declining tourism industry, which is worth approximately $7 billion annually, may not recover.
The head of Russia’s FSB agency, Alexander Bortnikov, stated that the conclusion of Russian investigators and officials is that a homemade bomb containing about two pounds of TNT detonated during the flight, thereby causing the plane to break up mid-air.
He added that, “We can unequivocally say it was a terrorist act.”