Crashed Egyptair Flight 450

I have had occasion before to praise Sam Kiley, Sky News security correspondent, who often seems to be fighting a one man battle against rampant Islamophobia and alarmism in the media. He has just given an extremely sensible analysis. He counselled against rushing to brand the crash as terrorism without evidence, discussing both mechanical failure and pilot suicide. He added that even if it was terrorism it was not necessarily Islamic terrorism. He quoted Anders Breivik and the fact that early reporting speculated that massacre was Islamic terrorism. Kiley even went so far as to state it was a possibility that, if it were terrorism, it could be carried out by a fascist group attempting falsely to implicate Islamic groups and stoke Islamophobia. Kiley also outlined the possibilities for various Islamic groups to be involved.

His summary was as balanced and sensible as it could be possible to make. Indeed Eamonn Holmes felt it necessary to ramp up the terrorist narrative by stating there have only ever been 68 mechanical failures on Airbus 320 aircraft. That is true, but it is a very much larger number than the number of terrorist incidents on A 320 aircraft.

I do not know what happened. I do know that it is remarkable that anybody as balanced as Sam Kiley – who four years ago stated on Sky News that Israel was perceived as “moving towards an apartheid state” – continues to be employed by the mainstream media. I frequently criticise corporate media journalists for doing a bad job. When one is doing a particularly good job I should in fairness note it.

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450 thoughts on “Crashed Egyptair Flight

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  • Stuart

    Having just listened to Lady Caroline give the loathsome Jeremy Hunt an easy ride on R4 Toady, it is heartening to hear that a good journalist is working well – even within Murdoch’s empire.
    Channel 4 News – with Jon Snow – had Hunt looking like a rabbit in the headlights by simply challenging his assertions. Hunt was even asked whether he should consider his position. Shock. Horror. No chance of that happening on the ‘Impartial Beeb.’ (Shouldn’t that be ‘I’m partial Beeb’?)
    I do not know Sam Kiley but will look out for his work.

  • John Webster

    Craig – be careful – the pro-Israel lobby will certainly target him as it has targeted Jeremy Bowen and Orla Guerin if you complement them on their reporting. They have effectively silenced Orla Guerin who they have condemned as ‘antisemitic’.
    What is utterly appalling is the EVERYBODY at the BBC knows about the pro-Israel lobby. EVERYBODY has contempt for them. NOBODY dares stand up to them. Then you learn that Mark Thompson, ex Director General of the BBC stayed with the vile Sharon ‘on his ranch’ shortly after the appointment of Thompson to his new position.
    The charge of antisemitism is the new McCarthyism.

  • Jim Morris

    In a parallel moment, why has there been no questionning of the Football hoax, where a dummy device with no explosives is planted to train explosive sniffing dogs, and conveniently left behind the the dogs “fail” to find it?

    • Doug Scorgie

      Yes I found it strange that sniffer dogs were used in a training exercise when there were no explosives residues for the dogs to sniff out.

      • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

        Sniffer dogs would be used if the alarm were a real one. And so it is unsurprising that they should also be present during an exercise – if only to see that they don’t falsely pick up a scent.

        Capeesh, Doug?

  • nevermind

    Another security alert splashing over the hard pressed efforts to divert any more bad news from a now retrievable split Tory party.
    The speculations are wild and guide us along the usual lines of perpetrators.
    I for one will concentrate on the precarious geo political landscape, and the local devolution foisted upon us from great height.
    Great to hear you found another journalists who is doing his work, you’ve now outed two of them and branded them unbiased and worthy of journalism.

    does that make them a target?

    • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

      “Another security alert splashing over the hard pressed efforts to divert any more bad news from a now retrievable split Tory party.”

      That is the sort of comment that makes it impossible to take people like you, and how people like you think, seriously.

      Do you really believe that the whole thing was got up to divert from internal tensions in the Conservative party?

      For God’s sake develop a little Zurueckhaltung!

      • Pastafarian

        ‘For FSM’s sake develop a little Zurueckhaltung!”

        Maybe it was the little green men from their secret base on the far side of the moon. Have you considered that, seeing as you also talk about some fictitious deity?

      • nevermind

        ‘Do you really believe that the whole thing was got up to divert from internal tensions in the Conservative party?’

        Sigh, it is conveniently brushing over all the bad news that emanates from the Tory’s like a bad smell, a nasty party smell. And they are irretrievably split and you don’t know much about news management!
        Now go back under your bridge.

        And I did not say it ‘was got up to divert’ what sort of Englsish is this anyway, you conveniently put that into my mouth.

  • Phil Abel

    A very different response from that of Sarah Montague on the Today programme. After the BBC Paris correspondent had said at some length that the sudden disappearance and lack of distress signals suggested a bomb she talked as if that proved that it was one.

    • michael norton

      David Cameron has been saying we have to stay in the E.U. to help them keep safe.
      lots of stuff happens in and to do with FRANCE at the same time as the U.K. is in the E.U. so we are not keeping them safe at present, why should they be less safe if we withdraw?

      • Martinned

        To help *us* stay stafe – as in: the entire EU.

        Being in the EU facilitates a whole host of national security related policies, from intelligence exchange to the EAW.

  • giyane

    Some countries are taking precautions for passenger planes in the Middle East.

    Israel has installed anti-missile technology on all its passenger planes at £1 million a piece, while the US has supplied anti-aircraft missiles to Qatar, now in the hands of Al Qaida in Syria.
    Information available at

    One has to keep a completely open mind, but I would say that if you feed pigeons, i.e. sponsor terrorism as a tool of neo-colonialism or as a by-product of financing your banks with ME cash, you create a free-for-all.

    Any nutter anywhere can justify to him/herself that placing a bomb in an aircraft is somehow helping their cause.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Dismiss all media reports until 24 hours after the event, is increasingly my motto. All sorts of contradictory ‘information’ is available, on any item of which a complete conspiracy theory could be built. Nobody knows what happened yet.

    • Geoff

      I don’t agree. The 24 hours after the event is, admiittedly, often full of wild and frequently inaccurate speculation, but it is the crucial period when important things CAN slip out before all the news outlets are brought ‘on message’ and after which the official narrative begins to be cemented.

        • Geoff

          Now there’s the trick! I don’t have a magic formula to identify the real story, I’m simply saying that waiting for an official narrative to coagulate may be the easiest, but not necessarily the best, approach

      • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

        That is the sort of rubbish which is usually spouted by people who dine on conspiracy theories and cannot see anything without shouting “false flag” and “cover-up!”.

        BTW – I have promoted you to Hanger-on status. Rejoice!

        • Geoff

          Not sure what I spouted that riled you up, habba, but surely I do rejoice in the glow of your low esteem. Hallelujah

  • Nuada

    I don’t know what happened either, by Kiley lost me when he started speculating on false flag operations. Mechanical failure? Maybe. Pilot suicide? Possibly. A fascist group stoking up “Islamophobia”? Dan Brown territory.

    • Dave Price

      Thank you for that. Very interesting, not least because a similar article would never be published in the Guardian today.

  • Dave

    What a sad state of affairs it is when you feel the need to come out and praise a member of the media simply for doing their job as it should be done.

  • jimnarlene

    Having watched several “Air crash investigation” programs, it is clear that there are many reasons for catastrophic failure; from poor maintenance to human error.

    It seems to me if this were a terrorist attack, why no message sent saying so? Odd sort of terrorism, that does not advertise its attack, what would be the point.

    We shall have to wait on the evidence, before jumping to conclusions.

    • Martinned

      How long did it take for Al Qaeda to claim responsibility for 9/11. I don’t recall exactly, but off the top of my head we were all still speculating wildly days after the event. What can I say, terrorists don’t always claim responsibility, and if they do, they don’t always do it immediately or loudly.

      • SmilingThrough

        AQ never did claim responsiblity, as I recall, unless you count a strange video of a fatter, younger-than-ever Osama which popped up just in time for Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign.

          • LeeJ

            The govt issues a statement to say so and so organisation claims responsiblity. What proof do we ever see of the credibility of the claim? The govt could claim Mickey Mouse was responsible and the whole world seems to just accept it.

        • glenn

          The FBI never did finger OBL for that attack. He was on their “most wanted” list for other crimes, notably the bombing of the USS Cole, iirc.

        • lysias

          Of course, whether AQ was responsible for 9/11 remains open to doubt. When the FBI was questioned about why they didn’t include 9/11 on bin Laden’s Ten Most Wanted page, their official spokesman said they didn’t have evidence linking him to it.

          • Jim

            Hi Lysias, just wondering if you’ve any lawyerly expertise to throw some light in the present state of play regarding Khalid Sheikh Mohammed? I’ve just had a look at the Wiki entry and there’s a mention of some action this year, but the guy’s spent 13 years in US custody without any seeming end to this. What’s the legal position on holding him indefinitely? It seems completely outrageous to me.

          • lysias

            The U.S. Supreme Court cast doubt in its Hamdi decision several years ago on whether detainees could continue to be held after the end of hostilities in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look as if that war will end anytime soon.

          • Jim

            Cheers Lysias…limbo without end then it seems. That can’t be justified in any way as far as I can see it, but they seem to be a law unto themselves.

      • KingOfWelshNoir

        Osama bin Laden denied responsibility for 9/11 in a statement issued on 17 September 2001. In October the Taliban offered to hand him over to the US if they could provide evidence of his involvement but this offer was declined, apparently on the grounds that, ‘casting the objectives too narrowly would risk a premature collapse of the international effort if by some lucky chance Mr bin Laden were captured’.

        Some time later some US soldiers in Jalalabad found a video tape in a house and said, ‘Hey I wonder if there is any evidence on this linking OBL to 9/11?” And by a stroke of extraordinary good fortune there was, or rather there was footage of a fat bloke who didn’t look like OBL discussing his involvement in 9/11.’

  • fred

    We have very little information and it’s far too early to say anything with any degree of certainty.

    But if Ladbrokes were offering even money I know what my 50p would be going on.

  • Phil the ex frog

    Yeah yeah, that’s lovely. However, lacking context it’s almost as if your fleeting praise, as your fleeting damnations, is something more than irrelevant. You can call for journalist x to be sacked. You can tickle the arse of journalist y cause he’s not a complete and utter knob all the time. None of this addresses the basic truth that corporate media will serve the interests of the corporate state.

  • MJ

    It may well not be relevant in this or indeed any instance but it is always useful to remember that the Airbus 320 series is the only commercial airliner that can be taken over and controlled remotely from the ground.

  • James

    Flight MS804, commercial shipping in the area have diverted to the “last known position” to conduct a search operation for debris.

    Crew and pax are believed to be…..

    The captain, First Officer and 5 cabin crew.
    3 sky marshals.
    30 Egyptians,
    15 French,
    2 Iraqis,
    1 British,
    1 Belgian,
    1 Kuwaiti,
    1 Saudi,
    1 Sudanese,
    1 Chadian,
    1 Portuguese,
    1 Algerian
    1 Canadian.

    Thoughts and prayers for the victims and families of those involved and affected by this tragic event.
    Requiescat in pace.

  • Philip Smith

    If you were to contrast the hate shown to Muslims with the lack of hate shown to Irish Catholics during the ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland and bombings on the UK mainland, The difference is huge. Did the people of mainland Britain demand the repatriation of Southern Irish people? No, Did they condemn all Catholics? No again. As a child my best friend was Northern Irish Catholic (I was brought up CofE) and I guess lots of others were to. I can only make the conclusion that because we had no prior ill regards to Catholics the anger directed at Muslims is either Racial or ignorance. I think that the two can walk hand in hand.

    • John Spencer-Davis

      Chris Mullin discusses in Error of Judgement the hostility suffered by Irish Catholics in Birmingham in the aftermath of the Birmingham pub bombings, which (perhaps understandably, although not excusably) was considerable, apparently.

  • James

    Greek ATC report the pilot was “cheerful and happy” at the (entry) hand over.
    Later, the MS804 was “unresponsive” when ATC tried to contact it for (exit) handover to Ciaro.
    Contact was lost in Egyptian airspace, South, South East KUMBI

  • Greg Bacon

    Zionist Mobsters NATO in the Med

    Exercise Phoenix Express gets under way in Greece

    The international maritime exercise Phoenix Express 2016 was kicked off May 17, in the Mediterranean. Navies from Europe, North Africa, and the United States gathered to begin the 10th iteration of the exercise.

    Phoenix Express is sponsored by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and facilitated by U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet.

    This year’s exercise control group will be hosted at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operations Training Center (NMIOTC) located in Souda Bay, Greece, but training will take place throughout the Mediterranean to include North African nations’ territorial waters.

    And ZNN is reporting that the EgyptAir 804 wreckage, which ‘crashed’ in Egyptian air space and the majority of victims are Egyptians is being taken to NATO occupied Greece?

    Just another odd coincidence whenever the US and NATO are involved.

  • Ben Monad

    Pilot suicide? When they switch the search away from the Med and to the coast of Australia, I’m sure that will be floated just like any similar story.

  • bevin

    We may never know the cause of this crash. But several things are incontrovertible:
    1/ The region is awash with explosives and ordnance including anti aircraft systems, almost all of which is supplied by the “west” to proxies over whom they have very little control and whose mandate is roughly to kill as many as possible in order to destabilise local governments.

    2/ The half century long assault on the living standards and organisations of the working class has undoubtedly led to a deterioration of aircraft maintenance standards and the weeding out of inspectors refusing to pass shoddy work or insist on ‘by the book’ adherence to safety procedures.

    3/ Sisi has rapidly established himself as one of the most detestable dictators in a world full of them. His enemies range from the Muslim Brotherhood, through the Labour movement to nationalists angry at his submission to Saudi Arabia and the imperialists.

    4/ Israel still has ,military control over the Sinai and Gaza and has turned much of this part of the Mediterranean basin into a war-zone, full of deadly weapons in the hands of racist fanatics, with no regard for muslim lives.

    As to “who claims responsibility” if it is either daesh or al qaeda we will know that those responsible are armed by the US, based in Jordan or Turkey and afforded sanctuary in Israeli military hospitals. Confessing to a crime for which they will never be punished is a small price to pay for their continued existence and long term prosperity.

    There must now be quite a large number of retired ‘jihadists for America’ , veterans of the wars against Afghan nationalism. Yugoslavia, Russia and China. Not to mention the, by now ancient, proxies of imperialism who fought Nasser, for the ‘Houthi’ ‘Royalists’ in Yemen in the 1960s. I wonder if they still receive pensions and benefits from their sponsors, and oiur governments?

    • Ba'al Zevul

      1/ But it’s still hugely cheaper, less noticeable and probably more certain, to put a bomb aboard than to knock a plane down with a (big) SAM at 37000 feet. Granted, (say) Israel could have fired a Barak 8 from a ship (though not from Israel), but cui bono? Sisi’s one of Netanyahu’s useful idiots best friends.
      2/ ‘Undoubtedly?’ I don’t think so. The (non-bomb) safety record hasn’t taken a dip lately that I can see. We’ve had a couple of insane pilots lately, but they’re hardly your classical working-class.
      3/ He’s nasty. Probably the only qualification for staying in power in Egypt. But he’s not about to make the tourist industry in Egypt any less viable by blowing up Egyptian passenger planes heading there with tourists. The economy’s fucked as it is.
      4/ True. That’s why there’s a lower-altitude exclusion zone over N. Sinai. MS804 was heading towards Alexandria, a long way to the west of this.

    • Resident Dissident

      “There must now be quite a large number of retired ‘jihadists for America’ , veterans of the wars against Afghan nationalism”

      The Soviets were of course only invited in to defend Afghan nationalism

      .” Yugoslavia”

      Slobo ans Karadzic’s ethnic cleansing was of course just a quick and effective way of identifying “jihadists for America2


      Those Chechens of course were too thick to have any justifiable sense of grievance against the Soviets and Uncle Jo for sending their ancestors to lovely Siberia (you really should read Hadji Murad if you really want to understand imperialism)


      Stumped by this one a bit – are those Tibetan monks just another form of Jihadists

      Love the old Marxist “proxies of imperialism” – not that Russia and China, or Slobo’s Yugoslavia for that matter aren’t above a little imperialism.

      More ends justify the means stuff from our Marxist Leninist sock puppet I’m afraid.

  • Tom Welsh

    “Indeed Eamonn Holmes felt it necessary to ramp up the terrorist narrative by stating there have only ever been 68 mechanical failures on Airbus 320 aircraft”.

    As far as we know.

  • Mark Golding

    Balance and sensibility seems far removed in England’s green and pleasant land. Much akin to the city of London’s money laundering, Britain has been a willing patsy to Israel’s ‘war of terror’ and Middle East subversion.

    May I suggest to General Sir Richard Shirreff that Britain may appear ‘pacifist’ -semi or otherwise on the outer surface, yet under the body of this Trojan horse lurks an elite that work hand in glove to rotate the cogs of war.

    I have to say it disgusts and nauseates me Britain has become an outwardly impotent poodle to America, willing to give away secrets, snitch on US citizens and conjure up plots to leverage social movements and organizations within a population.

    These actions by Britain are symptoms of a shadow establishment ruling the UK that in our time injected and ignited ‘New Labour’ terror laws and more recently attempts to dump the Human Rights Act by a minority Conservative government. This ‘peerage knighted cabal’ governing philosophy profoundly influences foreign and national security policy and such domestic matters as spending priorities, trade, investment, income inequality, privatization of government services, media presentation of news, and the whole meaning and worth of citizens’ participation in their government. I call this cabal an ‘invisible state’ system composed of high-level elements within the intelligence services, military, security, judiciary, and organized crime. This system is an orgasmic, explosive and intoxicated ‘snail trail’ that runs through a war on terrorism, the militarization of foreign policy, the financialization and deindustrialization of the British economy and the rise of a plutocratic social structure that has given us the most unequal society in almost a century, and the political dysfunction that has paralyzed day-to-day governance.

    Our red/blue political system coexists with the shadow establishment in the same way it is possible for two subatomic particles to coexist in an entangled quantum state. The characteristics of each particle, or each governmental structure, cannot fully be described independently; instead, we must find a way to clarify the system as a whole before we can break the puzzle and enlighten the wide eyed citizens of our Union.

    I myself think a break can be made by infiltrating the inner sanctum of Chatham House that connects with Northwoods and NATO. It was this cabal that gave us the ‘little black men’ or ‘special ops’ in Kiev. Working with right wing Nazi groups, these men soon began inciting protests and convincing members of the local population to shift their allegiance to the Ukraine government. This hybrid warfare was intended to destabilize the region by using bribes and promises of power. With Britain serving as a NATO mentor a Special Operations Task Team (SOTT) consisting of 3 or 4 specialised NATO SOF members ignited the coup.

    Instead of a ‘non-occupation’ using polite and smiling ‘vezhlevye zelenye chelovechki’ or polite and friendly leprechauns, Britain once again smashed, murdered, pillaged, tortured and destroyed its way in – that will be it’s downfall and that will be it’s road to ruin.

      • Tony_0pmoc

        Mark Golding is the sanest, and most informed person who has ever written a comment here.

        Most of the rest of you are in cloud-cuckoo land.

        You might come to your senses just as the heat wave of a nuclear explosion approaches a few microseconds before your death.

  • James

    The “narrative” seems to be “Hashtag, TERRORISM” at the moment.

    This is certainly the case from the “high ups” in France …..and Egypt.
    How strange is that !

    Considering the Egyptians “strenuously” denied the MetroJet crash was due to terrorism, here they have stated it could be indeed the cause of this crash….and the wreckage hasn’t even been located yet.

    Of course, an aircraft departing a French airport, the responsibility for “checking it”, is French.
    Although onboard, a flight doing a “turn around” would be checked by the crew onboard.
    Baggage handlers, fuellers, dispatchers etc….would be French.
    Embarking passengers would also be the responsibility of the French.

    But nothing is known yet.

    HMS Defender is on site. Was this minesweeper also part of the NATO multi nation Eastern Med training ?

  • bevin

    Is anything about the Presidency of the USA ‘off topic’?
    Maybe this is. But it is bloody funny. It is about Trump, the man behind Lord Sugar.

    “…. the effortless treason of top-tier Republicans once Trump locked up the nomination was the most predictable part of this story. Politicians, particularly this group, are like crackheads: You can get them to debase themselves completely for whatever’s in your pocket, even if it’s just lint.
    “That’s why the first rule of any revolution is to wipe out the intellectuals. Trump is surely already dreaming of the vast logging camp he will fill with the Republican thinkfluencers who are at the moment making a show of being the last holdouts….”
    “… But the crowning effort on the right-wing snobbery front came from none other than British blogging icon and noted hairy person Andrew Sullivan. The aforementioned came out of semiretirement to write a 7,000-word jeremiad for New York magazine about how Trump was the inevitable product of too much democracy.
    The CliffsNotes summary of his monstrous piece, “Democracies End When They Are Too Democratic,” might go something like this: When I read Plato in grad school, I learned that in free societies the mob eventually stops deferring to the wisdom of smart people, and therefore must be muzzled before they send Trump to wash the streets with our blood.
    Sullivan’s analysis was a balm to the decades of butt-hurt that await the soon-to-be-ex-elite of the Republican Party. It blamed Trump’s rise on everyone but Republican intellectuals: Obama, Black Lives Matter and even “the gay left, for whom the word ‘magnanimity’ seems unknown….”

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