The Telegraph put together an incredible timeline of events following the Russian MetroJet crash earlier this week in the Sinai Peninsula. It’s constantly updating the information. The Telegraph is offering a great background on the role of Russia’s foreign policy, how the UK PM David Cameron is handling information and so much more, check out these excepts below and go to the Telegraph’s site for much more.
From the Telegraph:
Sisi’s controversial visit
, our Middle East correspondent, writes: President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s visit to London has been mired in controversy from the get-go. The invitation was announced a day after Egypt’s former leader, Mohamed Morsi, was sentenced to death, and the visit now takes place against a tense backdrop. But despite the complications, Egypt is seen as too important an ally for Downing Street to publicly rock the boat any further, and there were few signs of the strains of the weekend in today’s press conference. As expected, unity and security were the buzzwords of the day. Cameron’s promise to publish a review on Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood
comes as something of a curveball. Commissioned under diplomatic pressure from allies in the Gulf, it was understood to have been shelved for political reasons. Reviving the idea will be seen as a sop to Sisi. Downing Street will be relieved that their guest didn’t face any tough questions about his government’s human rights record. Since Morsi’s overthrow in the summer of 2013, Egypt’s security forces have overseen the deadliest massacre in the country’s modern history, as well as an unprecedented crackdown on political freedoms and freedoms of expression.
Sharm airport checks by British were not satisfactory
writes: Britain told Egypt to improve security at Sharm el-Sheikh airport 10 months ago, the Egyptian President has said. President Sisi told a press conference in London that British security officials were “happy” with the action that Egyptian authorities had taken.
In Egypt, however, airport staff suggested that not enough had been done. One staff member told The Guardian: “The system was the problem. “The British complained then that they weren’t checking people enough. We should have done more. The security could have been improved by putting another scanner outside and updating the others.”
Easyjet passengers banned from checking baggage on tomorrow’s flight
Easyjet have written an email to passengers waiting to get a flight back to the UK tomorrow from Sharm which instructs them not to bring any cabin luggage. It says: “Unfortunately due to the circumstances no checked baggage will be taken onto the flight, this will follow on to your destination airport at a later date. Hand luggage is still permitted under usual regulations.” This may indicate the UK thinks the crash was caused by a bomb in the luggage compartment.
More from Sharm airport
, in Sharm El-Sheikh airport, writes: Staff at the airport say they have never seen security like this. There is a long queue of cars and coaches that snakes out of the airport onto the road as security checks the passports of passengers and looks under the cars with mirrors for bombs. Inside the terminal, members of staff are having to take off their shoes and go through metal detectors before being patted down. Before the Metrojet crash staff were waved through. That may hint at suspicions that ISIL had an infiltrator among staff at the airport. Passengers are also removing shoes and belts, which staff say is new. Before people were allowed to walk to through the metal detectors with shoes on. Security guards also appear to be paying close attention to the X-ray machines rather than listlessly watching the screens.
Easyjet announce nine flights to rescue Britons tomorrow
EasyJet have announced plans to operate nine flights from Sharm to the UK tomorrow. An airline spokesman said this consisted of two scheduled flights, two that were delayed on Wednesday and five rescue flights. Meanwhile, a Foreign Office team is currently in Sharm El-Sheikh airport, assisting British nationals.
Defence Sec: Russian plane crash could strengthen case for British bombings of Isil in Syria
, defence correspondent, writes: The case for Britain bombing Isil targets in Syria would be strengthened if terrorists were found to have bombed a Russian holiday jet over Egypt, the Defence Secretary said. Michael Fallon said it was “more likely than not” it was a bomb that bought down the jet killing all 224 people on board. He also said it is “morally indefensible” that French and American warplanes are bombing Islamic State in Iraq and Levant – also known as IS and Islamic State – targets in Syria while Britain refuses to join in. The UK is relying on foreign allies to keep its own streets safe from terrorists and the international coalition fighting extremist militants wanted British Tornado jets to join strikes in Syria, he said. The Ministry of Defence will give MPs a series of secret intelligence briefings in the coming weeks on Britain’s air campaign in Iraq, as the Government tries to win backing for a Parliamentary vote authorising strikes in Syria. Read more here
Egyptian doctor: many bodies seriously charred, requiring DNA samples to identify
Raf Sanchez, our correspondent in Cairo, writes: The Egyptian doctor sounded exhausted after days of dealing with the dead of the Metrojet crash. He had been stationed at Cairo’s main morgue and had involved in examining about half of the 224 bodies from the disaster. Around 25 of the bodies he looked at had suffered serious burns, to the point where they were seriously charred and would require DNA samples to identify. The doctor, who asked not to be named while discussing the issue, said most of the burns were ante-mortem i.e. had been suffered before death. He said there was no way to know exactly what had caused the fire but that it appeared there must have been serious flames inside the cabin as the plane broke up. Such a fire could have been caused by a bomb but equally could be the result of an engine fire or the eruption of a fuel tank, he said.
Black box analysis suggests engine explosion
Our correspondent Roland Oliphant
, in St Petersburg, writes: The plane may have crashed after an engine malfunction sent components slamming into the side of the fuselage, Egyptian press have reported. Al-Masri al-Yaum, an Egyptian newspaper, cited an unnamed member of the commission investigating the crash saying that black box analysis suggested a explosion had occurred in one of the engines. “The presence of a powerful explosion, simultaneous loss of all engine power, a fire in part of the fuselage and the destruction of part of the plane in the air,” the source said, in comments picked up by Russian media. “Samples taken from the remains of the passengers and the aircraft wreckage, will determine if where there were explosives present or if the blast [in the engine] was caused by technical failure,” the source added.