As aviation officials started the search for EgyptAir Flight 804 in the Mediterranean Sea, many were wondering whether the disappearance of the Cairo-bound flight could be connected to an increasing focus on Egypt in recent weeks by the Islamic State group.
According to CNN, Flight 804 disappeared in the early hours of Thursday morning north of Egypt’s coast with 66 people on board. The Airbus A320 was cruising at 37,000 feet when radar contact was lost, a fact might be indicative of the sort of catastrophic depressurization that would occur in the event of a bomb or a missile.
If an article in Foreign Affairs (via Foundation for Defense of Democracies) was accurate, destroying an Egyptian jet was right in line with the Islamic State group’s recent focus on the region.
A recent addition to the terror group’s rostrum was Sinai Province, a small but significant insurgency within the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. Earlier in May, officials from 14 of the Islamic State group’s “provinces” within Iraq, Libya, and Syria released videos specifically promoting Sinai Province and its terrorist mission.
“The videos feature typical ISIS themes, such as condemnations of apostate Arab and Western governments, glorification of successful attacks, and praise for martyred brethren,” Oren Kessler and Max Peck wrote. “What sets these videos apart, however, is the sheer number released at once, as well as their focus on Sinai, which previously played a relatively minor role in ISIS propaganda.”