By Miles Dilworth For The Daily Mail
Published: 00:16 BST, 22 July 2019 | Updated: 00:19 BST, 22 July 2019
British Airways may have suspended flights to Cairo because it feared a bombing caused by lax airport security, a terrorism expert said.
The airline has cancelled flights to the Egyptian capital for a week following a security review.
German airline Lufthansa also temporarily suspended flights from the airport, but resumed its service yesterday.
British Airways has cancelled flights to the Egyptian capital for a week following a security review
The suspensions, announced on Saturday, come amid growing concerns about activity in the country by remaining cells linked to Islamic State. Jihadists from the group are based in the Sinai peninsula but their activities could be spreading to the capital.
In 2015, IS terrorists bombed a Russian Metrojet airliner after it took off from Sharm El-Sheikh – a Sinai resort popular with British tourists – killing all 224 people on board. It is thought terrorists may have used a sympathetic airport mechanic to smuggle a bomb onboard.
Raffaello Pantucci, director of international security studies at the Royal United Services Institute, said yesterday the authorities may fear a copycat attack. ‘The fact that they may have chosen a specific airport suggests that [the threat] is linked to the airport rather than the country,’ he said.
‘A security gap at an airport is more likely to be human than technical. They may have noticed that it’s possible to sneak stuff past security, that bag checks aren’t as good as they are supposed to be or one of the companies supplying security guards wasn’t as thorough as they would want.