EgyptAir Flight 804 crashed into the Mediterranean Sea Thursday en route from Paris to Cairo, killing at least 66 people, including passengers from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, France, Great Britain, Kuwait, Sudan, Chad, Portugal, Belgium, Canada and Algeria.
The Airbus A320 disappeared from radar some 180 miles from Egypt’s coastline after abruptly changing its altitude from 37,000 to 15,000 feet seconds after it crossed into Egyptian airspace.
While controversy remains over the actual source of 804’s crash, it was immediately clear that the NATO powers will seize on the attack to intensify their war operations and police-state preparations, which are being carried out under the fraudulent pretext of the “war against terrorism.”
Within hours, Western and regional governments advanced claims of terrorist involvement and vowed that NATO militaries, including French and American forces, would participate in the official response, which will be coordinated between the Egyptian, French and Greek administrations.
Flight 804 was “more than likely” brought down by a terror attack, Egypt’s government said. US presidential frontrunner Donald Trump denounced “radical Islam” as responsible for “carnage all over the world including the World Trade Center, San Bernardino, Paris, the USS Cole, Brussels,” in comments Thursday.
“Looks like yet another terrorist attack. Airplane departed from Paris. When will we get tough, smart and vigilant?” Trump tweeted. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie similarly asserted that “a plane got blown out of the sky.”
Trumps’s Democratic rival, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, also declared the crash to be “an act of terrorism,” and demanded more “American leadership in Europe, in the Middle East and elsewhere,” including more attacks against Iraq and Syria.
US President Barack Obama and his counterterrorism advisors are following the situation closely, the White House said.
Claims of terrorist involvement are premature, according to Greek investigators, who cited evidence from the plane’s debris did not indicate a terror bombing. Moreover, no terrorist group had claimed responsibility for bringing down the plane as of late Thursday.
Whoever is correct, there is no doubt that the hasty announcements of the Western governments are politically motivated.
Last November’s attacks in Paris and San Bernardino were followed by a huge escalation of police repression by the French government, including laws granting French security forces virtually unlimited powers to surveil, search and kill any member of the population who police suspect of “threatening security and public order.”
On the same day as the crash, France’s National Assembly extended the nation-wide state of emergency, declared after the Paris attacks, for an additional two months.
Thursday’s crash came just days after the passage of reactionary labor legislation by France’s Socialist Party (PS), the latest in a series of emergency decrees designed to prepare the French state for the emergence of revolutionary struggles against capitalism.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls already announced in April that the authoritarian powers would be extended in anticipation of attacks on upcoming “big events,” including the Euro soccer championship and Tour de France.
The hijacking of EgyptAir Flight 181 in March and the destruction of Russian Metrojet Flight 9268 over Egypt’s Sinai peninsula last October were both seized upon by the European governments to impose harsher airport security measures.
Virtually every terror incident during the past 15 years has been carried out by individuals ties to Western intelligence agencies. The Islamic State members behind the November 13 Paris attacks were well known to French and Belgium police before the incident, and resided less than a mile from Paris’ police headquarters. The perpetrators of 9/11 hailed overwhelmingly from Saudi Arabia, the main US ally in the Middle East, and some 80,000 pages of secret FBI documents documenting relations between the 9/11 hijackers and Saudi elites continue to be withheld from public view.
Such attacks, if not state-initiated events, play directly into the hands of the imperialist cliques and their military-intelligence agencies and their drive toward war and dictatorship worldwide. Every such incident has been followed by fresh rounds of police-state measures and repression against the working class and immigrants.
Thursday’s incident is especially ominous amid preparations by all of the imperialist powers for escalated military interventions in Libya, Yemen, Syria and Iraq, as well as along Russia’s border’s and China’s eastern seaboard.