“The United States, Germany and Britain all had overflight warnings in place for Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula” — that in itself is serious indication that they think there is a strong possibility that jihadis took down the plane.
“The Latest: Countries warned of dangers flying over Sinai,” Associated Press, November 2, 2015:
The latest developments after a Russian passenger plane crashed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board Saturday (all times local).
The United States, Germany and Britain all had overflight warnings in place for Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, where a Russian passenger plane went down killing all 224 people on board.
Germany’s warning, filed with the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization on Oct. 5 remains in place until 2016, as do the British and American warnings. In a response dated Oct. 15, Egypt’s civil aviation authority replied that “all necessary measures for safeguarding the airspace are already taken from our side.”
The warnings advised airlines to avoid flying over the Sinai Peninsula below 26,000 feet and to avoid the Sharm el-Sheik airport due to extremist violence and, notably, the use of anti-aircraft weapons with what the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration described as having the potential to reach high altitudes.
James Clapper, the U.S. director of national intelligence, says he could not rule out that the Russian passenger plane which crashed in the Sinai was brought down by Islamic State extremists.
Clapper told reporters in Washington that “we don’t have any direct evidence of any terrorist involvement yet” in the crash Saturday that killed all 224 people on the Metrojet.
But he noted that the Islamic State group, which has claimed responsibility, has a significant presence in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Asked if Islamic State extremists had the capabilities to bring down a passenger jet, he said, “It’s unlikely, but I wouldn’t rule it out.”