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Britain shuts down Sharm el-Sheikh flights after intelligence intercepts IS talks - media

November 06, 2015, 7:27 UTC+3 LONDON
"Their trawl revealed "chatter" in the days before the crash pointing to an imminent attack. It is feared Isil [the Islamic State] affiliates in the Sinai region were behind the atrocity."
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© AP Photo/Amr Nabil

LONDON, November 6. /TASS/. The British authorities decided to shut down flights to and from the Egyptian Red Sea resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh after the country’s intelligence intercepted messages of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization suggesting a terrorist attack in the region, the Daily Telegraph reported citing its sources.

According to the British daily: "The communications and "chatter" - uncovered by British intelligence only after the Russian passenger jet tragedy - are what led David Cameron to say it was "more likely than not" that a bomb brought the plane down…"

"…the Telegraph understands that the crucial intelligence came after MI5, GCHQ and their US counterparts went back over communications of known fanatics in the region," the daily said. "Their trawl revealed "chatter" in the days before the crash pointing to an imminent attack. It is feared Isil [the Islamic State] affiliates in the Sinai region were behind the atrocity."

Britain’s Wednesday decision to suspend flights to and from Sharm el-Sheikh reportedly left some 20,000 British tourists stranded in the Egyptian resort city. According to the Daily Telegraph, flights would resumed on Friday bringing home about 4,000 British tourists, but passengers were warned they would not be allowed to take luggage in the hold."

"The move suggests officials fear a bomb was smuggled into the hold of flight 7K9268 in the checked luggage," the daily reported. "It came as it emerged Britain raised concerns around baggage handling at Sharm el-Sheikh airport ten months ago.

An A321 passenger jet of Russia’s Kogalymavia air carrier (flight K9268) bound to St. Petersburg crashed on October 31 some 30 minutes after the takeoff from Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh.

The debris was found 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of the administrative centre of North Sinai Governorate, the city of Al-Arish. All 217 passengers and seven crewmembers were killed. Most passengers were Russian nationals.

Among the people onboard were also four Ukrainian citizens and one Belarusian national.

CBSnews.com reported earlier that US President Barack Obama believed it was possible that a terrorist attack could be the cause of the Russian passenger aircraft’s tragedy.

"I think there is a possibility that there was a bomb on board," President Obama was quoted as saying by CBS. "And we're taking that very seriously.".

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