Newsweek: Egyptians privately agree suicide caused 990 crash

Published July 1st, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

In an article appearing this weeks in Newsweek the magazine reports that members of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board used data collected by U.S. intelligence agencies in reaching their decision that the crash of EgyptAir Flight 990 off the North American Eastern Seaboard on Oct. 31, 1999, was caused by the plane’s reserve co-pilot, Gamil al-Batouti, deliberately putting it into its fatal dive. 


Newsweek reports that the U.S. intelligence agencies secretly monitored communications between an Egyptian investigating team in Washington and its superiors in Cairo, and discovered that, despite their public position against the notion, the Egyptian investigators privately agreed that suicide was the likely cause of the crash. 


The NTSB investigators also relied on evidence supplied by a former EgyptAir pilot named Hamdi Hanafi Taha, who sought political asylum in Britain in February 2000. Taha reportedly told FBI agents that he heard about a meeting between Al-Batouti and senior EgyptAir pilots a day or two before the crash. At the meeting, Taha said, Batouti was warned about his behavior, including complaints of sexual harassment. 


Nonetheless, reported Newsweek NTSB sources admit that Taha has “credibility problems.” – (MENA Report) 

© 2001 Mena Report (

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