EgyptAir MS804 crash: With 3 air marshals on board speculation goes to terror attack

French officials are denying that extra security personnel were placed on  EgyptAir Flight 804 in response to a specific terror threat against the airline.

While both France and Egypt are on high alert because of recent terrorist attacks in both countries, French officials say that having three security personnel on a plane that  size is not necessarily anything out of the ordinary.

Alain Vidalies, France's transport minister, said that having three air marshals on the plane was the "usual practice." 

However a British aviation expert told USA Today that that many security guards seem to indicate officials had  reason to believe an attack could happen.

"For each flight a risk assessment is made for these types of things," Doug Maclean said. Maclean said French security authorities likely decided that extra security was needed on the flight and assigned the three to make the trip.

NBC quoted former National Transportation Safety Board investigator Greg Feith who said Egypt had recently boosted security measures in response to criticism following  the crash of a Russian passenger plane that took off from a from the Sharm el-Sheikh airport in Egypt on Oct. 31, 2015. A bomb was believed to have been planted  in a soda can and placed on board the plane with a timer set to explode.

“The only other reason to have security personnel like we do here in the U.S. is if they were transporting some sort of prisoner or someone of interest,” Feith added. 

Another explanation could be that any extra security personnel were tragically just catching a ride on MS804 back to their home base, a practice that is not uncommon.

In Cairo, an emergency meeting of the National Security Council, the country's highest security body, was convened. The council includes the defense, foreign and interior ministers, in addition to the chiefs of the intelligence agencies.

While no group has stepped forward to claim responsibility for a bombing if that is what  happened to the plane, more people are pointed to a likely terror act as  the reason the plane went down.

U.S. officials are saying that there are early signs that a bomb likely took down EgyptAir Flight 804. 

According to a story from CNN, an unnamed government official said that early signs are pointing to a bomb blowing the Airbus 320 out of the sky.

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