UK PM Cameron: Plane ‘more likely than not’ downed by terrorists

UK PM Cameron: Plane ‘more likely than not’ downed by terrorists

The Russian airliner that crashed in Egypt was “more likely than not” a victim of a terrorist plot, United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron said on Thursday in the most forceful and public allegation about the plane’s downing.

“We don’t know for certain that it was a terrorist plot,” Cameron cautioned in brief remarks broadcast after a meeting of his emergency council. “There’s still an investigation taking place in Egypt. We need to see the results of that investigation.

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“The reason we’ve acted before that is because of intelligence and information we had that gave us the concern that, more likely than not, it was a terrorist plot.”

Cameron’s decision to mention the high likelihood of a terrorist bombing without absolute certainty raises the scrutiny of that possibility, and serves as a defense of his actions to halt U.K.-bound flights from Sharm el-Sheikh. The Saint Petersburg-bound Metrojet Flight 9268 crashed on Saturday shortly after taking off from the Egyptian resort city.

More than 20,000 British citizens have reportedly been stranded in Egypt since the travel restrictions were handed down on Wednesday.

Like the U.K., American intelligence officials reportedly also appear to be leaning toward a terrorist plot as cause for the airplane’s crash, though officials are declining to make any public statements and insisting that any conclusions would be preliminary. Reports indicate that intercepted communications point blame for the bombing on an affiliate of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

ISIS has previously taken credit for the plane’s downing, but the claim was dismissed by both Egypt and Russia.