The Egyptian government still maintains it has found no evidence that the crash of a Russian Metrojet passenger plane in Sinai was caused by a terrorist attack, according to a statement from the Egyptian civil aviation ministry released on Monday.
“The technical investigative committee has so far not found anything indicating any illegal intervention or terrorist action,” declared the statement, which was accompanied by a preliminary report on the crash, as quoted by Reuters. The investigative committee said it “continues its work regarding the technical investigation.”
The Associated Press described the “vaguely worded” statement as a reflection of Egypt’s reluctance to admit the plane was destroyed by an Islamic State bomb, or to concede that lax security measures at the Sharm el-Sheikh airport made the attack possible – concessions that would likely inflict further damage on the country’s vital tourism industry. Russia and Britain both suspended vacation flights to Egypt after the Metrojet crash.
Egyptian officials told the Associated Press that “security gaps” at the airport, including poor video surveillance and weak personnel protocols, were making it difficult to track down a culprit.
NBC News notes the Egyptian statement did not directly address the Islamic State’s claims of responsibility, including what they advertise as a photograph of the bomb, or Russia’s theory that an explosive device was smuggled aboard the plane.
“I can remind you of the conclusion of our experts from the special services, who came to the conclusion that it was a terrorist action,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, in response to the statement from Egypt.