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EgyptAir Jet Was Graffitied Ominously 2 Years Ago

Airline had increased security measures in face of nation's turmoil
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2016 8:33 AM CDT
EgyptAir Jet Was Graffitied Ominously 2 Years Ago
Some personal belongings and other wreckage from EgyptAir Flight 804. Smoke was detected in multiple places on the flight moments before it plummeted into the Mediterranean, but the cause of the crash that killed all 66 on board remains unclear.   (Egyptian Armed Forces via AP)

(Newser) – Egyptian President Abdel-Fatah El-Sissi says a submarine is en route to the crash site of EgyptAir Flight 804 to search for the black boxes, but the New York Times reports that the airline had long suffered from security threats stemming from Egypt's political turmoil—including, ominously, a graffitied threat referring to Sissi himself on the very aircraft that went down Thursday in the Mediterranean. "We will bring this plane down," read the threat, which the Times calls an "eerie coincidence," but which also referenced the last two letters of the plane's registration number, SU-GCC, as a phonetic play on Sissi's last name. Someone also scrawled "traitor" and "murderer" in the incident two years ago; the graffiti was blamed on workers at Cairo's airport and the nation's unrest, rather than a specific terrorist threat.

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Threat or not, EgyptAir was among many of the nation's businesses forced to clean house of employees with extremist viewpoints and implement new security measures, especially, the Times notes, after a Russian plane crashed late last year. Among those measures were crew searches and adding security guards to flights; three such guards were aboard the downed flight, raising the possibility that those measures may not have been sufficient. The AP notes that security at Paris' main airport, where Flight 804 originated, is tight, but, as one expert puts it, " the infinitely perfect does not exist." Egypt and France are investigating the crash jointly. (Read more EgyptAir crash stories.)

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