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Doomed EgyptAir jet had ‘we will bring this plane down’ scribbled on it

Egypt is yet to officially identify and reveal the definitive cause of the crash

Published: Updated:

In what has been described as an “eerie coincidence,” the EgyptAir passenger jet that crashed into the Mediterranean Sea this week had the words “we will bring this plane down” scribbled on its underside.

The message, believed to have been written by aviation workers at Cairo airport, was spotted two years ago, according to a New York Times report on Saturday.

At the time, the vandalism was “not connected” to a militant threat but linked to the nation's shaky political situation in 2013. A period of unrest had broken out in Egypt following President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s ouster of former President Mohammad Mursi.

The NYT report stated that the graffiti threat was an example of EgyptAir being aware of threats to security. Since then, the airline and Cairo airport has bolstered security measures, “including crew searches and the firing of employees with extreme political views,” according to the Daily Mail.

The numbers of unarmed security guards sitting among passengers on flights has also increased. Three of these guards were among the 66 people killed in the Flight MS804 tragedy, according to the British newspaper.

While Egypt is yet to officially identify and reveal the definitive cause of the crash, leaked data appears to show that smoke alarms were activated on board the plane some three minutes before it lost contact and disappeared from radars.

Egyptian armed forces on Saturday released images of debris of the crashed EgyptAir jet which had traveled from Paris and was heading to Cairo. The pictures showed passenger belongings and parts of the plane.

The jet had sent a burst of error messages indicating that smoke had been detected on board before crashing, France's BEA air accident investigation agency said on Saturday, although this is yet to be confirmed by Egypt.

Aviation website Aviation Herald published a burst of seven messages broadcast over the space of three minutes. These included alarms about smoke in the lavatory as well as the aircraft's avionics area, which sits under the cockpit.

While suggesting a possible fire, the relatively short sequence of data gives no insight into pilot efforts to control the aircraft, nor does it show whether it fell in one piece or disintegrated in mid-air, two aviation safety experts said.

The BEA is assisting an official investigation into the crash, which has been launched by Egypt's air crash investigation authority.

The plane disappeared without any distress signal between the Greek island of Karpathos and the Egyptian coast.

It had turned sharply twice in Egyptian airspace before plunging 22,000 feet and vanishing from radar screens, Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos has said.

(With Agencies)