Egypt Air Flight From Paris to Cairo Missing
Greek and Egyptian crews are searching for a missing Egypt Air flight that disappeared Thursday en route to Cairo from Paris with 66 passengers and crew on board.
The carrier said that it lost contact with Flight MS804 at 2:30am Cairo time, when the Airbus A320 was at an altitude of about 11,278 meters and approximately 16 kilometers inside Egyptian airspace. The cause of the plane's disappearance was not immediately clear, but airline officials said the aircraft may have crashed.
The airline stated that Egyptian armed forces received a distress message before communication with the plane was lost; however, a military spokesman posted on his Facebook page a statement denying a distress call had been received.
Fifty-six passengers were on board, including one child and two infants. Saudi officials say the flight included passengers from France, Britain, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Chad, Portugal, Algeria and Canada. No U.S. citizens were reported among the missing.
Aviation experts are reiterating that at this point too little is known to draw any conclusions.
Cyber War Versus Islamic State ‘Work in Progress’
For months now, U.S. government hackers have been setting their sights on the Islamic State terror group, intent on wiping the self-declared caliphate from cyberspace much like U.S. and coalition aircraft have sought to wipe it from the face of the earth. Yet, some of those helping to lead the virtual charge admit it is not yet clear just how effective the cyber efforts have been.
Reinforcing the concerns is a sense, from both military and intelligence officials, that Islamic State may well prove to be as resilient and adaptable in the virtual battle space as it has been on the physical battlefield.
“It’s working well,” U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told an audience Wednesday during a speech in Washington, adding, “It’s kind of a work in progress.”
“I think we’re learning from this experience, having a real live operation,” he said. “As we progress further we’ll be able to make a more definitive assessment.”
U.S. officials have, so far, been careful in talking publicly about what U.S. cyber operations against Islamic State entail, though Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in late February a top priority would be “to interrupt, disrupt ISIL's command and control.”