No additional security enhancements have been made to U.S. aviation after the disappearance of EgyptAir flight 804 from Paris to Cairo Thursday, Fox News has learned, despite concerns about Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport serving as a “last point of departure” for flights to the United States.
The Cairo-bound Flight 804 dropped from the sky hours after departing from Paris Thursday with 66 people on board. Authorities have said the possibility of a terror attack as the cause of the crash is “stronger” than technical failure.
The plane took off from Charles de Gaulle airport, which also serves as a “last point of departure” for a number of flights to the U.S. The incident has raised questions about the security of the airport at a time when Western Europe has been on high alert over the deadly Islamist attacks in Paris and at the Brussels airport and subway over the past six months.
A Department of Homeland Security official told Fox News that while there have been no additional security enhancements, the department’s aviation security posture remain at a heightened alert since the bombing of a Metrojet Flight 928 over the Sinai Penninsula last October. A law enforcement official said there is currently no specific, credible threat targeting U.S. aviation.
A DHS official told Fox News it has made a number of security enhancements at foreign locations in recent years, including expanded screening of items at airports, as well as offering assistance to foreign airports in terms of security.
Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told reporters she has not been briefed on the incident, but noted that it did indeed appear to be an act of terror from the information she’d seen.
“There is a strong probability that the plane went down with an act of terror,” Feinstein said. “The investigation has to take place and the facts need to be examined.”
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said U.S. national security and aviation experts have been in touch with their counterparts in France and Egypt, and President Obama has received multiple updates as the day has progressed. Earnest would not speculate on the cause of the airliner’s disappearance.
It’s too early to say definitively what caused this disaster. The investigation is underway and will consider all the factors that could have contributed,” Earnest told reporters. “If there is an opportunity for the U.S. government to help, we will do that.”
The FBI issued a statement late Thursday saying it “has offered assistance to our partners in Egypt and France and stands ready to help as needed.”