The EgyptAir passenger jet that plunged into the Mediterranean Sea last week killing all 66 people on board was once vandalized by people at the airport in Cairo who scrawled threats to bring it down in graffiti on the side of the plane.
Even more alarming: the threats were apparently scrawled by aviation workers at Cairo Airport. The chilling message: "We will bring this plane down." It was written in Arabic.
The incident was first reported by The New York Times.
Some workers also wrote 'traitor' and 'murderer' in messages directed at Egypt's president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi — a play on the phonetic similarity between the last two letters in the plane's registration SU-GCC and the leader's surname, according to the Times.
The graffiti was written off at the time as being based on Egypt's political situation, and not to the Islamic State. Similar graffiti was scrawled across Cairo after the military ousted the elected president, Mohamed Morsi, in 2013.
EgyptAir has put into effect a variety of new security measures in response to Egypt’s political turmoil, jihadist violence and other aviation disasters like the crash of a Russian plane that killed 224 people in October.
The company has fired employees for their political leanings, stepped up crew searches and added extra unarmed in-flight security guards. Three such guards died in Thursday’s crash of the doomed flight.
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