Terror links to 2 crash passengers probed

June 10, 2009 at 1:40 PM
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PARIS, June 10 (UPI) -- The names of two of the passengers aboard doomed Air France Flight 447 had links to Islamic terrorist groups, sources say.

The Airbus A330 jetliner crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on May 31, killing 228 people, when it encountered thunderstorms while flying from Rio De Janeiro to Paris. The Paris weekly L'Express quoted unnamed security sources saying French officials believe the Air France passengers' possible terror links were "highly significant," The Daily Mail reported Wednesday.

Even though the jet flew through violent thunderstorms, French investigators confirmed Wednesday that terrorism has not been ruled out as a cause of the crash, the British newspaper said.

After the crash, French intelligence agents determined that two names on the passenger list were also present on a classified list of radical Muslims considered a threat to the French Republic, L'Express reported.

The French agents were reportedly working to establish dates of birth for the two passengers to eliminate the possibility that the identical names were a coincidence.

Officials said Wednesday 41 bodies had been recovered from the crash zone located in the Atlantic 700 miles off Brazil's northeast.

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