Tunisian ultras’ sticker causes security scare on board an EgyptAir flight

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A sticker associated with a Tunisian football team caused a security scare onboard an EgyptAir flight to Athens which forced a delay of its departure time by nearly two hours.

The flight crew had found a note in English pasted to a seat inside the EgyptAir plane reading “Wanted since 2002 alive or dead”. The cabin crew of the Boeing 747-800 flight to Athens then alerted authorities who then brought on sniffer dogs and explosives detectors to ensure no threat existed on the flight.

It appears that the sticker is closely associated with a group of fervent supporters of the Espérance Sportive de Tunis (or ES Tunis) football club and who are called Ultras Mkhachkhyn. This Ultras group have been known by the slogan “dead or alive” since their foundation in 2002.

One theory for the logo being left onboard the EgyptAir plane was that a fan might have plastered it on the cabin’s wall given the the ES Tunis football team is set to play in Cairo Arab Champions League beginning on Sunday.

The Boeing 737 flight later left Cairo for Athens with 108 passengers on board after a two-hour delay.

Egypt has heightened security in all its airports in recent month after two air incidents.

In October 2015, a Russian airliner went down in Sinai Peninsula after taking off from Sharm el Shaikh, killing all 242 people on board. ISIS claimed responsibility for that attack.

In May last year, an EgyptAir plane plunged into the Mediterranean Sea while flying from Paris to Cairo and leaving all 66 people on board dead.

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