Plane crashes always stir up some deep human anxieties. But Thursday’s downing of EgyptAir Flight 804 — which crashed en route from Paris to Cairo, killing 66 people, among them three children — may be more unnerving than most.
The plane was relatively new, and it had no known maintenance issues. It was flying at cruising altitude in mild Mediterranean weather. Both pilots were experienced, and neither indicated anything amiss. In the end, the plane made two sharp turns before a quick, awful descent.
All of which points to the grim possibility of a terrorist attack, and more specifically a bomb on board. It’s always prudent to wait for the facts, and this case is no exception. But as the investigation gets under way, three larger points are worth bearing in mind.
One is that airport personnel increasingly represent a weak point in the global security cordon. Airport staff likely helped an Islamic State affiliate bring down a flight over Egypt in October. Two workers at Mogadishu’s airport helped get a laptop bomb aboard a plane in February. Intelligence officials have worried for years about radicalization among staff at Charles de Gaulle Airport, where Flight 804 originated. Addressing these worries will require better background checks, more intensive monitoring and an awful lot of vigilance. It won’t be easy.
This article continues at [Bloomberg] Warnings From the EgyptAir Tragedy