Putin Suspends Flights From Russia to Egypt Amid Security Fears

Russia has until now played down the possibility of terrorism as the cause of Saturday’s jet crash in Egypt, the country’s most popular tourist destination.

Comments: 121

  1. Putin should have remembered what a quagmire the Middle East can be. Afghanistan II?

  2. ISIS (i.e. al-Qaeda except with a state) hates us just as much as they hate the Russians.

    If they can bring a Russian airliner down, what makes you think they won't try to bring an American airliner down?

    Yet all the liberals are advocating withdraw, withdraw, withdraw. Even the biggest withdrawal cheerleader - Obama - has learned his lesson by now. We need to keep the pressure on ISIS. Bomb them and have at least several hundred spec ops in Syria conducting targeting missions and raids.

    People's memories are too short.

  3. There was no ISIS until the US invaded Iraq and destabilized the region. Maybe if Jeb is elected we can re-invade Iraq!

  4. Well, somebody has a short memory. I for one remember all the American blood and gold spilled in that wasteland. No more American blood or gold can be spared. Let the foolish Russians try to fight the zealots, it is a losing battle.

  5. Oh, yes, several hundred spec ops... and their logistical supply line, which probably drives the number to several thousands. You make it sound so easy. Why not just say, Obama! you there! send in Captain America!

    And when they are are there bombing and killing and probably getting killed maybe captured too, somehow the airline bombers will just cease and desist, because, what, they all live just a few miles outside of Aleppo?

  6. To the Editors,
    Mr. Putin must REALLY want to become involved now and I might recommend the world, and Mr. Obama, let him.
    Perhaps Russia and Egypt can bring together their own "Coalition of the Willing" and take care of DAESH for at least a while. But please, Mr. Obama, no more American "boots on the ground"; let "Vlad the Enforcer" take care of it!

  7. A terrorism finding will be highly inconvenient for Putin because it will be regarded as blowback from the Syrian misadventure for which he is responsible.

  8. Don't expect the Egyptians or the Russians to come clean on this investigation.

    This Russian plane went down on the exactly on the16th anniversary of the downing of EgyptAir 990, which was carrying a amount its passengers, a large contingent of Egyptian military officers. The US NTSB concluded that EgyptAir 990 was deliberately driven into the ocean by it's co-pilot, who was saying "Tawkalt ala Allah" while doing so. The Egyptians, for political reasons, spent a great deal of effort concocting Rube Goldberg "mechanical failure" scenarios, rather than admit EgyptAir 990 was brought down by terrorism.

  9. So where are all those big-mouth pundits who proclaimed Putin as a "master strategist" in global politics? Seems like the chickens are coming home to roost.

  10. Or it's a false flag operation. This would give him just cause to go after ISIS directly. I would put it past him.

  11. I don't think anyone needs justification to go after isis. Everyone knows they're barbarians hellbent on setting up a caliphate and killing everyone in their path. Nobody is standing up for them, and any nation that announces they're going to go kill some isis types is bound to receive only applause.

  12. The picture caption accompanying this article: "Officials are investigating what might have caused an explosion that brought down the plane."

    So it was an explosion that brought down the plane?

  13. But didn't Putin say that saying that the airplane crashed was caused by a bomb is premature? And now they suspend Russian flights to Egypt? What is that telling us? They must think that there is possibility for it to be a terrorist attack, and considering how much money they would loose, it's probably a very big possibility. Because, they wouldn't suspend flights because of a technical difficulty or simple human error or whatever. But of course, Russia must deny anything the U.S. or its allies claim, and then they just suspend the flights and say, well, we still don't know if it was a bomb.

  14. Huh? The possibility of a bomb is enough justification to suspend flights. Putin, Obama and Cameron are all telling us the same thing. It could be a bomb, but it's premature.

  15. Don't you think that prematurely jumping to conclusions leads to unnecessary wars - like one in Iraq. Let's investigators conclude their studies and than we will know why the plane went down - they have a lot of materials and black-boxes. In contrast with many others, I see a good will in number of countries, now including Russia, stopping flights - just as cautious move to prevent possibility of another catastrophe. But what really worrisome is a complete lack of sympathy toward victims of this tragic accident. It is almost gloating that 240+ Russian civilians were killed, as soon as Putin is in uncomfortable position.

  16. "We are not paranoid. They really are after us."
    This is the insight missed, of all places, by Egypt, and apparently now, Russia has received the message loud and clear.

  17. It's been interesting to watch the manipulation of information being released on this plane crash.

    The Russian and Egyptian governments have many reasons to reject terrorism. Western governments seem more active than normal to suggest terrorism.

    The passengers, it appears, are just chess pieces.

  18. The passengers are dead. They are hardly chess pieces.

  19. Not only are some news sources claiming terrorism they have even determined ISIS the culprit..... clairvoyant I guess.

  20. Now that Putin has ordered the suspension of all flights to Egypt following indications that the Russian passenger plane could have been torn apart midair by a bomb, he is taking Western intelligence seriously.
    Yet it would hardly change his policy in Syria and the joy of the militants linked to the IS, who said they downed the plane, may just be transient. But they have vowed to target the US too for its airstrikes in Syria. This will no doubt set many on edge.

  21. Let's travel light and make no complaints when standing in security lines at the airport folks.

  22. Let's not travel to the Middle East as tourists.

  23. I just don't get it and have never been able to. I would hope some of our Russian readers can answer this. The enemy is radical islam no matter what names it uses. They are sworn enemies of both the Greek Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic church and their offsprings. Yet Putin continues his rhetoric against the west and especially the United States. Does anybody within Russia really believe the US will be invading Russia from the west? We should be working together on this not the nonsense we have now. If somebody can explain what I'm missing, I will be glad to listen.

  24. I am in no way a fan of Putin, but recently he explained his issue with the West pretty clearly. Most Russians subscribe to that. Russia does not see West as a threat, but as a trouble maker at large, causing havoc and destabilizing the world. Listen to him if you want to understand the other side

  25. Mr. Putin is seeing the fruits of his brilliant strategy. I must say - his plan has been masterful (as so much of his Republican fans in the US attest). So manly. He has taken his Russian population - taken them into an economic sinkhole in Crimea, created a solid enemy in Ukraine, managed to block them from international credit through inviting sanctions, singl-handedly given relevance to NATO leading to a military buildup on all fronts and now messed up even their vacation plans to sunny Egypt. The wisdom and far reaching insight of this giant among men knows no bounds. He's so much more manly than Obama.

  26. It's not unlike the horrible job he did as an aparatchik in Leningrad. Everyone hated him and knew he was incompetent.

  27. Well played, Truthiness.

    Putin is a Czar for all seasons.

  28. Well at least he did *something*. Right!?


  29. Since before the 2012 election, conservatives have fawned over Vladimir Putin's alleged leadership, strength, and decisiveness; using the comparisons with Putin to deride President Obama.

    In short order after intervening in Syria, there is strong evidence that a Russian passenger plane was brought down by Islamic militants who planted a bomb on board, killing hundreds of Russian civilians. How wise or strong does Putin look now, unable to protect his own civilians on a commercial aircraft? Putin is now forced to make a military response that further draws Russia into the morass of the Middle East, or look weak for failing to protect to his own citizens. Putin's overreach into Syria will be his undoing.

  30. Just how is Putin (or Obama, or Cameron for that matter) is supposed to "protect his own civilians on a commercial aircraft" originating in a foreign country. It is entirely the responsibility of that foreign country to ensure the security of their airport procedures.

    The only thing that other countries can do is to ban travel, which several countries have now done. After the incident, not before.

  31. If it probably, most likely were a bomb, Putin has every right to respond. Egypt, too, will have to confront the terrorism emanating from their country before it cripples their tourist economy, and it's more than time for an Islamic nation to clear house of radical terrorists.

  32. It looks from here as though Comrade Putin's decision to wade into Syria is turning into a "tar baby" moment. The Middle East is a blindfold with or without the cigarette. Yes, Comrade, pour billions of devalued rubles into the bottomless well that is Syria. Explain this disaster to your countrymen and women; explain why Syria is necessary to Mother Russia.

  33. Your over 240 Russian civilians potentialy killed by ISIS terrorist is revolting.

  34. The word "gloating" disappeared when I was typing, hence, correction:
    Your gloating over 240 Russian civilians potentialy killed by ISIS terrorist is revolting.

  35. Dear Soxared,
    Syria is necessary to Russia because of three main reasons. One, it is Russia's only military naval port in the Mediterranean and thus strategically vital. Two, it is Russia's strongest ally in the Middle East and thus again strategically vital. Three, it owes Russia untold billions of rubles for arms shipments over the last several decades, and if its government falls, Russia never gets that debt paid.

    As for the price paid, anyone who goes to a land infested with jihadists is running the risk of getting blown up or beheaded. That's on them, like the people who play soccer in traffic.

  36. Mr. Putin's Passive barrier in the sky may enhance the active barrier of the safety of tourists on the ground at Egypt's tourist destinations. No traveler will like to avoid Egypt in his itinerary as Egypt won't like to lose the influx of the tourists.

  37. For Cameron and President Obama to suggest a bomb was cause is careless and reckless. They should be absolutely sure what was behind this tragedy before speaking. The last thing we need is another "invasion" over a 911 incident.

  38. Why would the Times recommend this? Cameron and Obama didn't suggest a bomb was the cause, they merely stated it was a possibility based on intelligence. And it's looking more like they were right.

  39. This article is about Putin.

  40. First, a bomb was most likely the cause, and second, nobody is talking about invading Egypt. Egypt's government isn't the terrorist problem, it's the terrorists, and invading Egypt wouldn't help with that at all. Really we just have to stand well back and let climate change eliminate the region's population, which is the most likely and effective way to get rid of the jihadist scourge.

  41. I just pray this is prevented from happening again.

  42. Dear Mr. Mitchell,
    Oh it'll happen again, just not to Russia. Egypt and surrounding nations have plenty of terrorists and they do love killing people. I bet in the last hour a hundred people have died due to jihadists, holy wars, and all that nonsense, so there's really no hope of terrorist actions not happening again.

  43. It is more important now that the US collaborate with the Russians in bringing to head the terrorism that is perpetrated by these disparate groups. A terrorist group no matter their affiliation should be routed. No distinction should be made. Our supported group/s notwithstanding.

    Hiding under the cloak of America should not be a reason for not going after these terrorists. We need to now stop supporting the Syrian "rebels". How do we know it was not one of those groups that we support that brought down the Russian plane , if in fact it was a bomb? What would stop them from bringing down an American plane full of Americans?

    No more support for these "rebels". They all seek us harm.

  44. I have been through Egyptian security, and it is a joke, no surprises here.

  45. How sad. I have always wanted to visit Egypt but of course have out that on indefinite hold for obvious reasons. The fact that they can't even provide airport security in that very dangerous part of the world makes me think I will never visit there or any ME country other than Israel. I would imagine now even the Russian tourist dollars will be lost to them. I am sorry for the working person in Egypt who relied on tourism and now in the past years has seen that commerce dry up or at least greatly diminish.

  46. Good decisions..
    The authorities in the Saini and other parts of Egypt are cur root and you can bribe them easily.
    We got shaken down by them and held up for a day because we did not bribe them. The supervisor threatened to have us walk to Isreal and sit there then walk back before they would let us pass a check point.
    Eventually we relented and paid them the demanded bribe.

  47. It's the middle east. What else would you expect. It's "OLD" world dealing, bribes for everything. Everyone in any position solicits them, even for such things as walking into a PUBLIC market.

  48. I think pretty much of the world works this way, except for the U.S., Canada, Australia, most Western European countries and probably Japan. Money isn't the root of all evil, greed is. That and gross overpopulation.

  49. Mike, just remember the old expression, T.I.A.

  50. Putin blinks and the poor people of Russia suffer once again. The day will come when the Russian people wake up to see this pariah in their midst for what he is.

  51. Actually, a story in the Times a month or two ago detailed how Putin skillfully controls all the media in Russia, so everything the citizens see or hear is spun in Putin's favor. Russians aren't able to wake up to see him as a "pariah" when all the news is censored and whitewashed to make him look like a Russian hero.

  52. The only person capable of holding Russia together? The exact opposite of the criminal ineptitude of the Yeltsin years? The person who made Russia a fully functioning country once again (at the cost of some personal liberties) where public institutions have funding, function and are far, far, less corrupt than they'd been under Yeltsin's American-style capitalism? He has a popularity rating in the mid 90s for a reason.

  53. Guess those tourists will have to go to Crimea instead.

  54. Putin invaded Crimea to protect "Russian" people there.

    Don't see why he would not do the same for the Russians who died in the crash.

  55. The Russians have their hands filled with Islamic militants in the Caucasus and southern Russia (Vologorod). Additionally, the Russian government does not want to inform the citizens in fear of demonstrations against the Syrian adventure, which like Afghanistan isn't going well. The Russian government doesn't even admit to the families of the dead Russian soldiers that they (the soldiers) were killed in the Ukraine. Look at the denials for years of the deaths and injuries by chemicals in the Indo-China adventure of the U.S. and the Persian gulf adventures. Covered up for years.

  56. It is a lie.

  57. Perhaps this is a fitting response to Russian adventurism. Under the guise of presumably attacking the common enemy of all -- ISIL, so that they might support Assad, they obviously misunderstood the situation. ISIL will attack any an all to achieve their Caliphate of terror. Threatened by this new enemy they seem to have acted.

  58. Vladimir Putin has only one Arab ally. And that ally is a sectarian minority Muslim Alawite within a sectarian Shia Muslim minority. The quest of Sunni Muslim Arabs and Turks for autonomy and power is arrayed against Putin and Russia. Along with a nascent Chechen Turkish Sunni Muslim insurgency within Russia.

    America can not and should save nor help Putin and Russia out of another quagmire. Assuming that America has any socioeconomic, political , educational or military solution or solutions to these raging ethnic sectarian civil wars.

  59. That, sadly, is "Cold War" thinking of the neo-Cons and the 1960's.

  60. I would be ashamed to mention USA's allies in the Arab world. Wouldn't you? With such allies you don't need enemies.

  61. A lot of angst over Russian tourists, but radio silence over the Syrian civilians killed by their air- & missile-strikes there.

  62. War is a dirty game, stay tuned.

  63. There is eternal silence over millions of civilians killed by the West - where is your rage over it? Selective rage towards the Russians? It is called Russophobia, my friend.

  64. Utter chaos, confusion and recriminations mark the reaction of the West and Russia to the, perhaps, bombing of this plane.

    Once again, the terrorists win.

  65. IT seems the statements made by the US and the UK may be coming from insiders such as the House of Saud and Turkey.

    ALSO an earlier report in NY Times suggested that: "American military officials said this week that satellite surveillance had detected a flash of light as the plane was ripped apart, suggesting that it had been blown up by a bomb, an explosion caused by a mechanical failure or the ignition of fuel".

    DOES the US Satellite Surveillance detect all such mishaps and did they pick up any such Signal of MH-17 mid-air Explosion?

    ALL this will feed the "Conspiracy Theorist To Connect The Dots" and Implicate the Saudis/Turks and their allies in Syria.

    AND that would end up causing more havoc to an already messy situation.

    IF indeed a Bomb has caused this Tragedy, the Egyptian Authorities can easily Interrogate the Videos and The "Luggage Handlers Backgrounds" and Affiliations with ISIS, Al-Qaida, the Saudis and the Turks.

    THOSE who are celebrating should be aware of the consequences of the reaction by Russia and Egypt.

  66. I find it odd that no traces of bomb or explosive residue has been found. In other cases where planes were blown up there was always traces of explosive residue and often actual parts of the bomb found. I am withholding judgment until more data is found.

    Everyone suspects bomb, but yet no traces of an explosive device have been found

  67. So it wasn't an explosive device because no residue has been detected, I see. May I suggest there are probably numerous associated signs that an explosion did indeed occur in close proximity to the aircraft in flight.

  68. Let's give it a couple of days - or maybe even until officials release some facts - before we start with the conspiracy-mongering.

  69. Who says there are no traces?

  70. If it was a bomb that brought down the Russian plane, we really don't know who was behind it. There could be several suspects for various reasons that want to make Russia/Putin look bad. I am dismayed that Pres. Obama once again has preempted the investigation with his comments. The question that comes to mind is if ISIS wants to retaliate against Russia's involvement in Syria, why would they not retaliate against the US since we have been bombing them for more than a year?

  71. Russia is closer and there is a militant group in Chechnya .

  72. '...If it was a bomb that brought down the Russian plane, we really don't know who was behind it...'

    Let's make an educated guess, shall we?

  73. Why Russians are making so much polemics about their investigations about the air plane crashed killing 224 people among them innocent children. if they already knew that ISIS proclaimed responsible for such tragedy, But the fact to be determining no more flights to Egypt are ruining the Egypt economy more than anything for the fact of tourism, where people from all the world wonders about the greatest first empire of our civilizations remains as the Sphinx, the main thee pyramids and others. It seems a purpose of those extremists groups to destroy even the ruins of ancient times in all their dominions that are disgusting all this world.
    And it seems that Russians have not the capacity to handle this big problems that all that extremist groups are causing. but they are against Americans intentions to make a good effort for that region.

  74. It's amazing the speed at which Russian authorities ended up at the scene, secured the debris, and were quick to deny that terrorists had anything to do with this. If only the Dutch were allowed access to that shot-down CIVILIAN passenger jetliner as quickly.
    It's clear that the initial denial of terrorist connections was both for the Russians to save face, and so the Egyptian tourism industry, the lifeblood of foreign currency flowing into the nation, didn't take an immediate hit. As it stands now, the Russians get to know what it's like for a civilian plane to get downed over a "war" zone. They should have stayed out of Assad's folly. Syria as we knew it is kaput. The Russians are not trying to save Assad as much as they're trying to hold on to their naval and air bases there. This is the price they're going to pay and it's going to get more and more costly.

  75. Nobody should ever consider Putin to be unintelligent, really. Moral, no, but he's rather cunning, and he tends to do what he thinks will be best for himself and Russia.

    Egypt, like most of the countries nearby, is plagued by terrorism. If you don't want your countrymen to get blown up, shot, held for ransom, and beheaded, don't let them go to Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and the other wartorn lands. Try flying a plane out of Yemen and it's got a better chance of being blown up or shot down than it would on six continents.

    So seems to me Putin did the smart thing, like he usually does. It'd be nice if Egypt could get civilization restored a bit, but what with fundamentalist jihadists, a burgeoning and impoverished population, the devastation of global warming in a desert country, and similar factors, I don't think there's any hope of that.

  76. Interesting. Iran and Israel are not on your list (smile). What do these two have in common? Stability

  77. I am truly sorry for the innocent passengers and all their families and loved ones mourning this disaster. May the dead rest in peace.

    But if Russians can no longer enjoy vacations in Egypt ... well, I can live with that sorrow.

  78. Wow, getting involved in the Middle East sometimes has tragic consequences. How could anyone possibly foresee this historically speaking?

  79. As usual, with all governments, trust is something that is never present. Lie they will. If the concern of the governments was real, ten minutes after the crash, all air traffic in an out of the Sharm el Sheikh airport would have suspended until a full and in depth investigation was completed. In stead, a 'fly on' attitude was taken. Who is looking out for who. Answer: follow the money.

  80. If it keeps you breathing what is the argument.
    Since Napoleon we know governments lie.
    Leaders know if their supporters keep getting blown out of the Sky, they are not Leaders for very long.

  81. There is a companion article to this one that ran last night and it just hit me what the real difference between "liberals and progressives" and "conservatives" is. WE "liberal and progressives" did not make nasty, snarky comments when George Bush, Jr. and his cartel led us into the wasteland of middle east war because we gave him the benefit of the doubt. But EVERY article that mentions President Obama is filled with comments from haters. I am so glad I am a Progressive and not a hater.

  82. You are out of your mind if you think liberals and progressives supported Bush during the period you reference. The comments section from that period and ever since was full of hate for Bush. Maybe liberals and progressives like yourself are just supporters of revisionism and/or forgetful.

  83. But we, or at least most of us, have not been calling for the Bush/Cheney war crimes trials. But we probably should be.

  84. Instead of being "macho" or "manly", I think Putin's intervention in Syria is largely a necessary defensive move against a growing threat of terrorism, quickly moving to destabilize the near abroad and then Russia itself. It is largely the US actions in Iraq, and then Libya, and now Syria, that created the cancer of ISIL and the accompanying flood of refugees. Someone has to stop it before it grows any further.

    Instead of joining in a fight against the common threat -- terrorism -- most of the policy class, as well as many of the commenters on this thread, seem to be blinded by an instinctive Cold War mentality. Some of the comments on this thread have distinct gloating overtones. Very disconcerting.

  85. And exactly why do you see Putin's invasion of Syria or intervention in Syria's civil war as necessary? Because he'll lose his naval base? Or--what is this threat of terrorism to Russia of which you speak, and how do you know Pootie is anticipating it? It's like this: Pootie says, what about our base? Assad says, hey, you got it, it's yours forever. Pootie: We will bomb! Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb your enemies.

  86. It is ironic that although Russia and the US have been ideological enemies for close to a hundred years, true evil such as that posed by the Nazis and now ISIS, is compelling them to become military allies. Although the loss of these passengers is clearly a tragedy, it may well force Russia and the US to finally rout ISIS together. The alternative, the triumph of ISIS, would set back civilization a 1000 years.

  87. Putin is obviously concerned that the downing of the plane could have been effected by an explosion and that at least security measures in Sharm-al-Sheikh could be less than perfect and that another even such as this out of the same airport would be a disaster for him.

  88. "The travelers’ situation remained in a state of flux"

    Caution is a good thing, when one is faced with information on air travel, that is provided by two of the most repressive, brutal governments in human history.

  89. If we expect to find out from either the Russians or the Egyptians to find out the truth as to why the airplane went down we will never know. Historically the Egyptians will never admit to any fault of the pilots or at the airport. The Russians will also historically deny anything that don't fit their political narrative. Just look at the downing of the Korean airline in 1983 (it took 10 years before Yeltsin admitted the truth) and the downing of the Malaysians airplane over Ukraine. Deny deny deny.

  90. And EgyptAir 990.

  91. The pressure may be too great for the Russians to reach and publicise their true findings and I am troubled by there being no mention of experts from AirBus Industries and the manufacturers of the black boxes (already declared by the Egyptians as having been damaged as if to say nothing conclusive will be obtained from them) who should be the lead players in the investigation. Economic or political interests must not play any part in the investigation, only the best expertise counts.

  92. The mystery in all this isn't the fact that it was a bomb, but why would ISIS attack a Russian flight instead of a US one, when all along it was US bombing ISIS and Russia refraining from it if we were to believe US media? And if it wasn't ISIS that did it, which group was it, the groups we are supporting?

  93. Apparently those in Interpol circles are taking this threat seriously.
    It may well in the end being about engineers not being paid for two months and that is where these idiot ISIS (who can't build anything) see a soft mark.

  94. Hmmm - let me think. See the pyramids and get blown up? Visit the Sphinx and be beheaded? Or stay home, rake leaves and winterize my lawn?


  95. Lets hope Putin doesn't take a page from the George W Bush Playbook and now invade a 3rd party country that had nothing to do with this act of terrorism. Latvia and Estonia beware.

  96. Putin already invaded Ukraine, maybe as a preemptive strike to grab bases on the Black Sea from which to launch attacks on the Middle East? what a genius!

  97. If a bomb, was it funded from Saudi government sources? Saudi Arabia warned of 'consequences' if Putin attacked rebel Islamic fundamentalist groups Saudi Arabia supports in Syria.

  98. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was partly responsible for the emergence of the Islamic State militant group in the Middle East.

  99. I feel sorry for Egyptians, who live on tourism. If Russians, their biggest customers, stay away, it will hit the industry even harder and bolster their support for Sisi.

  100. Good Luck ISIS. Because you'll need it . I don't know what history books you've been reading (if any), but apparently you skipped over the chapter of "Revenge...Russian style". Bad mistake. For then you would surely know what you are in for. And it won't be pretty....or nice.
    Taking out military installations is one thing. But should you start to attack innocent civilians, you will soon meet the full wrath of the Russian Bear.
    In other words; if this were a poker game, you have just dealt yourself the "Dead man's Hand".
    Game Over.

  101. Readers' comments to this piece highlight major differences between a typical mindset in the US and Russia. I strongly dislike Putin and all he and the criminal gang around him represent, but if it is indeed a terrorist act, the only reaction I (as a Russian) would get is to support his actions in Syria. I do not understand why it is assumed that this turn of events (possible terrorist act) is bad for Putin? On the contrary, it would only add to his popularity and justify further involvement and provide a distraction both in Russia and in the West.

  102. Obviously many of us do not know how tight the security is at Sharm el Sheikh airport, but considering never ending hostility in this region and the importance of this resort town to Egypt, so security must have been tight. In other words, hostile groups must have always looked at this place as a target but could not succeed. At the end if explosion is the cause then it must have been state-sponsered. No doubt all fingers will point at Saudis, because and so far, Salman, the new Saudi king, is quite erratic. Lets wait and see.

  103. It is sad that 220 lives were lost in this tragedy.
    The scene has become still murkier with the involvement of Russia in the ongoing Middle Eastern crisis. It is important that the forces fighting terrorism, especially Russia and the US, should bury their differences and join hands to defeat the forces of terror.
    For it is often the case that terrorist movements receive a shot in the arm and their morale is boosted whenever the forces fighting them are divided among themselves.

  104. While much of Europe participates in a mis directed and mis informed boycott of Israel, many of them flock to Egypt - a nation led by a military dictator, and plagued by corruption and terrorism.
    And imagine, any talk of avoiding Egypt is controversial.
    In travel, as in almost any transaction, "You get what youy pay for".
    Eilat is ready to welcome everyone - and safely!

  105. Will Putin invade Paraguay in retaliation for the bombing of the Russian plane?
    Does Putin believe in the Cheney/Bush Doctrine?

    Will Putin continue to bomb Syrian rebels only? Or will he add any IsIs targets to his dance card?

    What would President ! do?

  106. There is a need to suspend all flights to Sinai that has nothing to do with actual security. And that is because Egypt has said that they will not hold any press conferences or share any information about their investigation until it is complete, and they say this will take many months.
    Egypt has a very strong interest in not releasing any information that would indicate a reason to believe this was a terrorist attack because this would destroy tourism to the region, something that Egypt wants to avoid at all costs.
    Therefore the only way to get Egypt to cooperate with the international community on this investigation is to force them to. And the best way to do it is is to stop all tourism to Sinai until they open up their investigation for all to see.

  107. The crash of this plane is a tragedy for the innocent victims and their families. It is also a lesser but still significant tragedy for Egypt, and in particular for the innocent people of Sharm-al-Sheik whose livelihoods are dependent on the tourism industry. I would hope that everyone's first reactions to this tragedy would be sorrow and sympathy for the victims.

    I have been a vehement and vociferous critic of Putin's actions in Ukraine and elsewhere. However I find it morally reprehensible that a number of comments here seem to take satisfaction from this tragedy. Anyone who believes that Putin "deserved" this tragedy is guilty of supporting terrorism.

  108. In the spring of 2003, I traveled to Egypt for a few weeks. After several days in Cairo, I flew to Sharm el Sheikh airport, and proceeded to spend 3 nights in the backpacker town of Dahab. While there, the long anticipated war in Iraq began. I then went back to Sharm airport, where I would fly to Aswan, via Luxor.

    I was born missing my right hand, and wear a prosthetic hook. Security at the airport had me remove my artificial limb, and they sent it through the scanner. For whatever reason, they deemed my prosthetic a potential security risk, and they ordered me to place it in my checked-in baggage; I would have to fly without my hook on, and take it out of my bag upon arriving in Aswan.

    I protested vehemently (to the extent you can at airports), emphasizing that I required my prosthetic, and that I was a Canadian citizen. (I wondered if there was any anger among the security personnel there directed at the United States for the invasion of Iraq). Besides, my artificial limb had been scanned - what could possibly justify this capricious decision?

    Security were indifferent to my pleas, and so I placed my hook in my luggage. Thankfully, there were no problems with my flight, and I put my arm on after retrieving my bag at the Aswan airport.

    I have not since experienced such an incident in all my years of flying.

  109. Daesh is engaged in a war of anihilation against Christians and other religions and the only reason why they don't kill millions is because they don't have the means, yet.
    I don't know why western governments are more interested in pocking each other than uniting against this mortal threat. These divisions have been cause of great grief in the past: Gibbon: "The Byzantine pretender brought the Turks to Europe to fight the Emperor in Constantinople."
    Eventually the Turks took Constantinople for themselves.

  110. The Russian government has not ignored the theory that the plane was felled by a bomb, but it has certainly played it down ..."

    Is it really in Russia's best interest to "play down" something so catastrophic as the downing of one of their passenger
    flights and the massive loss of life that has so many countries alarmed? I don't think so.
    But the good commonsense thing to do is to bring vacationers back home, as this situation of uncertainty will wreak havoc on the emotions who are still there.
    President Putin seems to be doing the right thing in trying to take the Russian vacationers out of that part of the world, though not admitting any foul play prior to an investigation that would shed more light on the matter.
    To the Russians, as the above quote states, it remains a "theory"; to the West it's more in line with a fact.

    My question is: Why is Primer Minister Cameron so adamant about the plausibility of an explosive devise placed inside the cabin? Why is now President Obama echoing those sentiments?
    It would be enlightening if more information were shed, but it appears the Russian and Egyptian authorities are not communicating with the West or may be simply holding on to some sort of classified information that goes beyond what we've been fed by the media.

  111. It's depressing to read all these sneering comments turning a devastating terrorist slaughter of hundreds of innocents into either a) snide mockery of Putin b) snide mockery of Republicans or c) critique of the West's role in "creating" the terror.

    Meanwhile, the actual *agents* of the terror - radical Islam in all probability, although unknown at this point - are ignored.

    I find these comments in really poor taste as well as self-deluding. Mocking Putin because Republicans admired him is too silly to even comment on. Tapping into an American sense of superiority over Russia is not worthy of this supposedly liberal intellectual class. Making Republicans all powerful bad guys may make us feel like we have control of the pretty terrifying rise in radical Islam and its war on Western values. But it doesn't solve the problem.

    Radical Islam is a rising problem that is impacting millions of people across the globe. Gloats, mockery, complacency, reduction of a complex problem into simplistic American party lines --all these are unworthy of the critical thinkers I know the Times readers to be.

  112. dcl, I agree with just about everything you wrote, except the last sentence that describes Times readers as "critical thinkers".

  113. If indeed ISIS is found responsible, I find it inconceivable that the killing of 200+ innocent men, women and children is God's will. It is pure evil and Russia must respond appropriately.

  114. Putin, the KGB man, has had bombs placed in residential apartment buildings with the intent of either to target a politically threatening individual, or to create a dramatic event to distract the public from noticing something else that he is orchestrating. There is the very real possibility that Putin 'took care' of someone on that plane. Why else would a leader so quickly resist the possibility that it could have been a bomb on board?

  115. "Never let a good crisis go to waste", said by the 55th and current Mayor of Chicago. He has been White House Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama, a senior advisor to President Bill Clinton and a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Illinois's 5th congressional district.

    I wouldn't be at all surprised if this morphs into a reason for the Russians and the United States, announcing an alliance to, once and for all time, go after the "terrorists", whoever and wherever they may be.

    The idea of using up all the munitions gathering dust, in military depots all over the world, and ramping up production for the next few decades of perpetual warfare, is making the American military industrial complex giddy, and Putin finally sees a way to get the Russian economy humming nicely again.

    I'm curious as all heck, where the explosives came from, and whether they will make that tidbit public.

    Can't imagine the explosive having a Russian or American signature ...

  116. "I wouldn't be at all surprised if this morphs into a reason for the Russians and the United States, announcing an alliance to, once and for all time, go after the "terrorists", whoever and wherever they may be."

    Hopefully, the US and Russia will each use a few tactical nuclear weapons to completely exterminate ISIS.

  117. With Russian/Putin in charge of the 'investigation', expect the imminent emergence of The CIA as the leading culprit.

  118. The USA and UK know something here that the Russians and Egyptians do not want out of the bag. New type of undetectable bomb? Dastardly inside job?

  119. Dear Mr. Kirkpatrick (Mr. Kirkpatrick is not accepting emails or comments),

    I realize you probably don't know this as you are young and inexperienced.

    "As Britain, the United States and Russia take steps to protect their citizens, Egypt’s public statements recalled the 1999 crash of an EgyptAir flight near Nantucket."

    But ALL governments, including the governments of Britain, the United States and Russia, "adjust" the truth to conform to the needs of their respective ruling classes.

    The more important story is, Why do western tourists insist on thieri "right" to vacation in (Tunisia), or near (Egypt), war zones in countries ruled by brutal dictators (Egypt)? If these tourists had gone to Portugal, Spain, Italy or Greece, they would ALL still be alive. And in the case of the tourists who were murdered in Tunisia, the tourists would have helped their fellow EU citizens!

    The Russian tourists, on the other hand, probably just got a screaming good deal thanks to some deal between the dictators Putin and al-Sisi.

  120. Well Mr. Putin - how does it feel to have a plane load of your citizens (likely) brought down by insurgent/terrorist actions? Need consolation? Ask the folks in Holland how they felt about losing their people over the Ukraine.