Authorities Believe Bomb Was Planted In Passenger’s Luggage At Hotel; Photos Show Shrapnel


via DailyMail: Hotel workers are being questioned in Sharm el-Sheikh amid fears the bomb suspected of downing the Russian jet was planted in luggage in a passenger’s room.

Egyptian investigators have widened the scope of their enquiries after British spies intercepted intelligence that suggested explosives were smuggled into the hold of the doomed plane.

Airport staff, ground crew and air traffic controllers have already faced interrogation as it looks increasingly likely the bombers had help from an insider at the airport.

Baggage handlers with links to ISIS were immediately placed under suspicion because they could have used their high-level security clearance to wave an explosive device through pre-flight checks.

Another theory now being pursued appears to focus on the possibility that a bomb could have been planted in luggage in a tourist’s hotel room.

A picture of one of the crashed Airbus A321's doors show it bearing 'pockmarks' on the inside, which could be evidence of shrapnel from a bomb that has gone off inside the plane

Local hotels provide food to some flights and deliver the food directly to the planes, officials said.

Authorities have begun questioning hotel staff, including cleaners and support staff, to establish how the device could have been squirrelled onto the aircraft, it was reported by the Daily Telegraph.

Egyptian authorities have already started questioning airport staff and ground crew who worked on the Russian flight and placed some employees under surveillance, according to security officials.

The officials from Sharm el-Sheikh airport said security checks were often lax at a gate into the facility used to bring in food and fuel.

Guards at the gate often let such deliveries go in without full searches because they know the delivery men, the officials said.

Staff in a diligent mood are often bribed with a meal or two to pass the lorries unsearched to save time, they added.

‘You are not going to search your friend or your friend’s friend,’ one official said. ‘It’s rude.’

A retired senior official from Egypt’s Tourism Ministry, Magdy Salim, said airport guards regularly skipped security checks for friends and co-workers and often did not search people ‘out of respect to save their time if they look chic or if they come out of a fancy car’.

‘Airport security procedures in Egypt are almost (all) bad’ and marred by ‘insufficiencies,’ Mr Salim said.

Earlier, the head of the joint investigation team, Ayman el-Muqadem, said a noise was heard in the last second of the cockpit voice recording before the plane plummeted. The announcement bolstered U.S. and British suspicions it was brought down by a bomb.

However, Mr el-Muqadem warned it was too early to say what caused the plane to apparently break up in mid-flight, adding that analysis of the noise was under way.

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