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Egypt Accuses Other Countries of Withholding Info on Crashed Russian Jet

by Charlene Gubash and Andrea Mitchell /  / Updated 

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CAIRO — Egypt on Tuesday accused other countries of withholding potentially critical intelligence about the cause of the Russian airliner crash last month.

Egypt's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid told NBC News his ministry "has received nothing, beyond what is in the public information," and that a lack of intelligence sharing is a "source of dissatisfaction."

He did not mention any countries by name, but his remarks appeared to be in response to claims from the U.S. and Britain that a bomb may have brought down the Metrojet flight on Oct. 31.

"This information … could help the investigation process," Abu Zeid said. "We would expect them to share it with the investigation committee, which is independent, and with the Egyptian government."

Meanwhile on Tuesday, U.K. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond reiterated British claims that a bomb was likely responsible. He told journalists that open-source intelligence pointed to ISIS' leadership, an affiliate, or an ISIS-inspired lone wolf as a possible culprit.

Hammond said surveillance camera footage clearly showed the airport at Sharm el-Sheikh had a security problem and the decision was made immediately to halt British flights and bring vacationers home.

The foreign secretary added that it does not take much — a few pounds of explosives and a timer — to get a bomb onto an aircraft if airport security is lax. This is "schoolboy physics, " Hammond said.

U.S. officials told NBC News that chatter intercepted after the crash showed ISIS operatives boasting about taking down an airliner.

Before the disaster, another intercept picked up a signal from an ISIS-affiliated group in the Sinai Peninsula warning of "something big" in the area, U.S. officials said.

"It makes a big difference if this information was available before the crash," Abu Zeid explained to NBC News. "If this information was available and not transferred to the government [of Egypt] there is a big question mark."

His comments came after Sen. Dianne Feinstein, vice chair of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, stressed the importance of the U.S. sharing "information regarding terrorist attacks," during an interview on "Meet the Press" on Sunday.

"We usually do this and it's important we do this with Russia and with Egypt," Feinstein said.

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