Alexander Bortnikov, the director of Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), said on Thursday the crash of EgyptAir Flight MS804 is probably the result of a terrorist attack.

The flight, en route from Paris to Cairo, disappeared from radar screens 130 nautical miles off the Greek island of Karpathos at 2:45am local time. The passenger list provided by EgyptAir listed 15 French citizens and 30 Egyptians, as well as citizens of UK, Belgium, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Chad, Portugal, Algeria, Canada.

“Unfortunately, another incident with an aircraft of Egypt airlines took place today. It was most likely a terrorist attack that killed 66 people from 12 countries,” Bortnikov said during a session of the Council of heads of security and special services of CIS member countries, the Russian news agency Tass reports.

Egypt’s aviation minister also said a terror attack is more likely than a mechanical failure.

Russia was the target of a terror attack in October when a group affiliated with the Islamic State planted a bomb on an A321 plane belonging to Russian charter company Metrojet. The crash in the Sinai desert claimed the lives of 224 passengers and crew.

The Islamic State and other terror groups have yet to claim responsibility for taking down EgyptAir Flight MS804.

Aeronautics experts are discounting the possibility of mechanical failure. “A major technical fault—the explosion of a motor, for instance—seems improbable,” said aeronautics expert Gerard Feldzer.

“We cannot exclude the possibility that it was shot down by another aircraft by mistake, but it is likely we would already know,” Feldzer added.

“It’s a modern plane, the incident happened in mid-flight in extremely stable conditions. The quality of the maintenance and the quality of the plane are not in question in this incident,” Jean-Paul Troadec, former director of France’s aviation Bureau of Investigation and Analysis, told Europe 1 radio.

No distress signal was sent from the flight prior to disappearing from radar screens.

“A technical problem, a fire or a motor malfunction, doesn’t cause an instantaneous accident and the crew has time to react,” said Troadec. “Here, the crew didn’t say anything.”


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