"I act on the basis of intelligence that I receive, I act on the basis of advice that I get ... if the intelligence and the judgement are that it is a more-likely-than-not outcome [terrorist bomb], then I think it's right to act in the way that I did," said British Prime Minister David Cameron in a joint conference with Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, president of the ruling regime in Egypt.
The statement seemed to suggest that the loss of Metrojet Flight 9268 in the Sinai Peninsula on October 31 was the result of a terrorist attack and not a technical failure.
The crash killed 224 people, and was certainly the deadliest yet on Egyptian territory and in the history of Russian aviation.
The Egyptian foreign minister initially deplored the comment for "rushing to conclusions" and then criticised the United Kingdom for "not sharing intelligence".
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Scandal after scandal
The Sinai attack certainly placed security matters at the forefront of British-Egyptian relations. The UK has already suffered security threats in Sinai. The Daily Mail reported that a surface-to-air rocket came within 300m of a British Thomson flight as it approached Sharm el-Sheikh in August 2015.
The initial theory was that the Sinai Province (SP), an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) affiliate operating in North Sinai, fired the rocket. However, the spokesman of the Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs made a bizarre statement. He claimed that the rocket was fired by the Egyptian military during a routine training exercise, and that the airline was informed about it.
"This is a scandal, covering another scandal, coming after a third scandal, and declared during a fourth scandal," a former general in the Egyptian armed forces told me.
After the military coup of July 2013 and the success of the new regime in repressing dissent, the British government was more interested in political stability, counterterrorism, prevention of refugee outflows, the security of allied governments and regimes, and economic investments and imports; than democratisation and human rights.