Photos Believed to Be of Three Istanbul Attackers Emerge

iStock/Thinkstock(ISTANBUL) --  Images have emerged that are believed to be of the three men who are suspected of launching an attack on Istanbul's Ataturk Airport, killing 44 people and injuring more than 200 others.

One image shows three men as they walk into the airport Tuesday night, with one carrying what appears to be a duffel bag. The other two men are seen wearing baseball caps

 Another photo shows a man dressed in all black, circled in red, walking through the airport. A board with the flight arrival and departure information is seen to the left of the frame. The man holds an item with both of his hands, but it is unclear from the image what it is. The photo has a time stamp of 9:54 p.m. local time.

The third picture shows a man, circled in red, standing at what appears to be the airport's entrance. Painted lines, likely for a crosswalk, appear at the top of the frame. The man appears to be wearing a puffy black jacket, blue jeans and sneakers. He faces in a diagonal direction, as two other people, one outside and another walking in, appear in the image with him.

The man seen next to the alleged attacker carries a rolling luggage and appears to be a pilot from his uniform.

 The images, grabbed from a CCTV video, were made available by the Turkish Haberturk newspaper Thursday.

On Thursday, the death toll from the terrorist attack climbed to 44 after a 25-year-old victim died in the hospital, according to Turkish authorities. The three attackers were from Russia, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, the Turkish prime minister's office confirmed with ABC News.

 The three men shared a home in Istanbul for the past month, Turkish officials said. During the several weeks, they lived in an apartment with a reinforced steel door, according to neighbors.

Turkey's interior minister said about the attack, "all findings show it's ISIS," while CIA Director John Brennan said Tuesday that the attack "bears the hallmarks" of the terrorist group's "depravity."

Turkish officials said the attackers opened fire with guns at a security checkpoint before blowing themselves up.

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Girl Stabbed to Death in West Bank as She Slept Was US National, Officials Say

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  A 13-year-old U.S. national was stabbed to death, as she slept, by a 17-year-old Palestinian youth in a West Bank settlement in what officials were describing as an "outrageous terrorist attack," according to the U.S. State Department.

The teen, identified by the State Department as Hallel Ariel, was killed Thursday after the Palestinian youth broke into her home in a West Bank settlement, said U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms the outrageous terrorist attack this morning in the West Bank where a 13-year-old girl, Hallel Ariel, was stabbed to death in her home," he said. "This brutal act of terrorism is simply unconscionable. We extend our deepest condolences to her family. We also understand another individual who was responding to the attack was wounded by the attacker. We extend our hopes for a quick and full recovery."

The Palestinian teen, identified by the Palestinian Health Ministry as Mohammed Tarayreh, from the nearby village of Bani Naim, was shot and killed by security guards after the incident, which is the latest in a nine-month wave of violence.

"The horrifying murder of a young girl in her bed underscores the bloodlust and inhumanity of the incitement-driven terrorists that we are facing," said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after an emergency meeting with his Defense Minister.

The home is in Kiryat Arba, a hard-line Jewish settlement located near the Palestinian city of Hebron, which has been a focal point in the current wave of violence.

Since last September, Palestinians have carried out dozens of stabbings, shootings and vehicular ramming attacks that have killed 33 Israelis and two American tourists.

About 200 Palestinians have been killed during that time, identified by the Israeli government as mostly attackers.

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The Mother of Parliamentary Messes: A Guide to UK's Political Turmoil

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- The so-called mother of parliaments is in one mother of a mess. Since U.K. voters opted to leave the European Union in a referendum last week, the country’s political system has been plunged into turmoil, with increasingly bitter leadership battles that could determine the future course for Britain’s two main parties.

It a confusing scene involving an array of characters, but here is what you should know.

Who is in charge?
Prior to last week’s vote, Prime Minister David Cameron had vowed to stay on in the event of a Brexit. But having failed to convince the country to vote “remain” in the referendum, he instead announced a decision to step down. In a bid to ease the transition, he said that he would remain in place for three months while a replacement leader of the Conservative Party was sought.

Who will replace him?
Now this is where it gets messy. Former London Mayor Boris Johnson, who spearheaded the Brexit campaign, was the favorite to take over as Conservative Party leader and, as such, become the likely new British prime minister. But in a shocking decision today, Johnson decided not to run.

In another surprise announcement, Justice Secretary Michael Gove -- a close friend of Johnson and a fellow Brexit campaigner -- announced that he was throwing his hat in the ring, saying Johnson couldn’t "provide the leadership or build the team for the task ahead.”

Those remarks followed an email sent accidentally by Gove's wife, Sarah Vine, a newspaper columnist, to a member of the public that subsequently was obtained by the press. In it, she expressed concerns about Johnson's popularity among Conservatives.

Why did Johnson decide not to run?
Perhaps he thought he couldn’t win after all. The Conservative leadership election is first decided by Conservative members of Parliament who vote until only two candidates are left, and a majority of Conservative MPs were supportive of remaining in the E.U., which Johnson passionately campaigned to leave.

The Conservative Party maintains control over the U.K. premiership by virtue of its winning the most recent general election.

Gove’s announcement to run might also have discouraged Johnson, assuming they hadn’t coordinated their statements. Johnson’s father said they hadn’t.

Speaking to the BBC, Stanley Johnson compared Gove to Julius Caesar’s murderers by quoting what is believed to be the Roman general’s last words.

“’Et tu Brute’ is my comment on that,” Stanley Johnson told the BBC, adding that his son hadn’t expected Gove to make his bid. “I think he was probably very surprised by Michael Gove’s sudden move as, indeed, many people are.”

There have also been suggestions that Johnson hadn’t factored on the “Leave” vote to actually prevail, and may be wary of taking over a party in such turmoil.

So the new Conservative Party leader will be Gove, then?
Not necessarily. Apart from Gove, Home Secretary Theresa May, Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb, former Defense Secretary Liam Fox and former City minister Andrea Leadsom have declared that they will run. Many now consider May, who backed staying in the E.U., the new favorite.

The deadline for declaring a candidacy has passed and the first voting is due to occur Tuesday. Members of the Conservative Party will have the final say after Conservative MPs select the two final candidates. The outcome of the contest to succeed Cameron is due on Sept 9.

With so much turmoil in the ruling party, the opposition must be laughing

Er … no. As bad as things are for the Conservative Party, the fortunes of the Labour Party are no better. Indeed, they could even be worse. Its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who sits on the political left of the party and has long had to fend off efforts to undermine him from moderates, is accused by many within his own party of underperforming in his efforts to get U.K. voters to bend toward “remain.”

As a result, he faced immediate demands to quit after last Thursday’s vote, but has so far refused to stand down. Instead, he has presided over a fracturing party. On Tuesday, 172 Labour MPs voted in favor of a no-confidence motion against him; just 40 supported him. On Wednesday, Cameron told his counterpart in a House of Commons’ exchange: “For heaven’s sake, man, go.”

It is now likely that he will face a formal challenge to his leadership, with ex-shadow business secretary Angela Eagle – a more moderate Labour figure – likely to be a strong challenger.

So messy party leadership races, but then it will be settled, right?
Unlikely. The fallout of the Brexit vote has been such that many are tipping an early general election, perhaps this fall. The outcome of that potential national ballot might decide which party will lead the country into a Brexit, one that party leaders themselves may not have wanted.

For the losing side, it might trigger another leadership battle. In short, a mess.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Report: Sailors' Detention by Iran Was Due to Poor Leadership, Training

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Iran’s detention of 10 U.S. sailors in January was preventable and resulted from bad leadership, poor training, bad planning and little oversight of the sailors during their deployment, the Navy has determined in a report unveiled Thursday.

Iran was also faulted by the report for having violated international law by seizing the sailors and their boats after they had strayed into Iranian waters and for taking photos and videos of them while being detained. A total of nine sailors, including six officers and three enlisted sailors, will face administrative punishments for their role in the incident.

In a measure of the importance the Navy placed on the investigation into the Jan. 12 incident, the comprehensive report was released at a Pentagon news conference Thursday by the Navy’s top admiral, Adm. John Richardson, the Chief of Naval Operations.

The incident and the faults it highlighted would become a case study to prevent future incidents, Richardson said.

"We conduct these investigations to learn what we can in order to prevent similar events from occurring, and where necessary to hold our people accountable where they failed to follow procedures and meet expectations," he said.

On Jan. 12, 10 sailors aboard two Riverine boats were traveling 259 miles across the Persian Gulf from their base in Kuwait to the U.S. Naval base in Bahrain. Designed for shallow water and harbor protection, the 50 foot vessels were undertaking the voyage to accommodate what was supposedly a time-critical replacement of another boat for an upcoming mission.

The long distance was one that the crews had not trained or planned well for, and they had expressed reservations about the voyage, according to the report. The boats had never traveled that same route to Kuwait since they had been transported as cargo aboard a larger vessel. Iranian interrogators did not believe that the U.S. Navy would send such small boats on such a long trip.

Richardson stressed to reporters Thursday that Iran broke international law by seizing the sailors after their two Riverine craft had strayed into Iranian waters 1.5 nautical miles off of Iran’s Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf.

The report also found that Iran violated the sailors' “sovereign immunity” by searching their boats and for taking photos and videos of the crew while they were detained for 16 hours.

"Those boats and crew members had every right to be where they were that day," Richardson said, because innocent passage through territorial waters for brief periods is recognized internationally.

Their 16-hour detention by Iran came at a critical time in U.S.-Iranian relations with the near-implementation of the nuclear deal designed to restrict Iran's nuclear program in return for relief from economic sanctions.

The report found that the lieutenant in charge of the mission did not conduct a mission briefing, had not used updated navigation charts in crafting a planned route, and had not shared with operations centers the information that would have kept track of the boats' movements through the Gulf.

The long trip to Bahrain got off to a bad start even before it began as crews were up the night before trying to resolve maintenance issues on one of the boats.

A four-hour delay in the original departure time forced a change to a more direct route that took them past Farsi Island, which the crew and officer misidentified as being part of Saudi Arabia.

The vessels had already strayed into Iranian territorial waters off the island when the engine broke down on the boat that required maintenance work the night before. Impromptu repairs were carried out as both boats sat idle about 1.5 nautical miles off the island's main harbor. Just as the repairs were completed, two small boats manned by personnel from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard approached the Riverine vessels and uncovered their 50-caliber machine guns and pointed AK-47’s at the crew.

They soon detained the 10 sailors on their boats with their hands above their heads, an image captured on video that later sparked outrage from American officials.

A total of nine officers and sailors will receive administrative punishments for their role in the incident that could likely end the careers of the officers. The two commanders in charge of the sailors' units stateside and during their deployment were removed from command prior to the report's release for a loss of confidence.

Other senior leaders were cited for inadequate training and supervision of the Riverine unit based in Kuwait, poor monitoring of the long trip from Kuwait to Bahrain and slow responses when the circumstances of the detention became clear.

The report noted that morale in the Riverine unit was low as crew members were tired from repeated lengthy open-water missions designed to project an American presence in the northern Persian Gulf. And in a foreshadowing of what would happen on Jan. 12, the unit skipped holding pre-mission briefings and maintenance work was not completed.

Three enlisted sailors and the lieutenant in command of the boats will receive administrative action for their actions during and prior to the incident.

At one point during the detention, Iran released a video that included an on-camera apology from the lieutenant in charge of the two boats, which raised questions about the "code of conduct" service members are supposed to follow when detained by a foreign power.

“The specific item that was of concern was the potential to make statements that would harm or be disloyal to the United States," Richardson said.

One of the sailors was faulted for disobeying an order to speed past two Iranian boats that were blocking its path. Another sailor provided the Iranians with his computer password as well as details about his boat’s capabilities.

One bright spot in the report was the performance of the lone female sailor among the detained sailors who was complimented for having made a video recording of the encounter at sea with her smartphone and for having surreptitiously activated an emergency beacon aboard her boat while she was detained.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Istanbul Airport Attackers Were from Russia, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan

iStock/Thinkstock(ISTANBUL) — The three attackers who struck Istanbul's international airport Tuesday were from Russia, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, the Turkish prime minister's office confirmed to ABC News.

A Turkish official said the Russian attacker was from the country's restive Dagestan region, the epicenter of an Islamic insurgency against the Russian state.

Meanwhile, 13 arrests were made in Istanbul after a series of overnight anti-terror raids, according to Turkey's Ministry of the Interior. Of those arrested, three were foreign nationals. Their nationalities were not identified.

The overnight operation consisted of 16 raids at different addresses in Istanbul, the ministry said. State-run media reported the addresses were in the city's Pendik, Basaksehir and Sultanbeyli neighborhoods.

The raids follow Tuesday's deadly attack at the city's Ataturk airport, which left 43 dead, including the three attackers who blew themselves up after opening fire, the ministry said. It was unclear whether the raids were directly linked to the attack.

The attack also left 238 people wounded. As of Thursday, 144 injured victims have been discharged from the hospital and 94 remain under treatment. The bodies of 33 people who lost their lives in the deadly attack have been handed over to their relatives, according to Istanbul Gov. Vasip Sahin.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, carried out by three individuals, but Turkey's interior minister has said "all findings show it’s ISIS." And CIA Director John Brennan said Tuesday the attack "bears the hallmarks" of ISIS’ "depravity."

In other ISIS-related developments, senior Defense officials confirmed to ABC News that as many as 250 ISIS fighters were killed in Iraq in airstrikes south of Fallujah Wednesday. Forty vehicles were also destroyed in the airstrikes.

One of the officials said "we’re still assessing the strikes and gathering details" but the figure of 250 killed is "consistent with our early assessments."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Chechen Leader Ramzan Kadyrov Launches “Apprentice”-Style Reality Show Search for Assistant

iStock/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) — Ramzan Kadyrov, the strongman president of Chechnya, will host his own Russian equivalent of The Apprentice to help him find an assistant.

Live -- The Team will be broadcast on Russia’s main state TV channel starting Thursday. The show resembles the U.S. series that starred Donald Trump prior to his run for president, but offers contestants the chance to win a job working alongside the Chechen leader accused of human rights abuses.

According to a program description from Russia’s Channel 1, anyone can apply, after which Kadyrov will test whether they have what it takes to join his team.

Kadyrov rules Chechnya with an iron fist, entrusted with crushing a separatist insurgency in the Republic and running it as his personal fiefdom. International rights groups have accused him of overseeing widespread torture and using brutal tactics, including burning down opponents' homes. Chechen death squads involved in political assassinations abroad have been linked back to Kadyrov and his inner circle.

In a trailer for the show, Kadyrov says applicants should be “ready for anything.”

Contestants will have to pass a series of challenges, according to the program description, though they appear more extreme than those set by Trump in the U.S. equivalent. From the show's trailer, it seems tasks will range from military obstacle courses to parachute jumping with special forces units.

The program description says the winner will receive a post as the head of Chechnya’s Agency for Strategic Development. To enter, contestants should fill in an online form, explaining what ideas they have for Chechnya’s development and how they would help Kadyrov’s team.

Those wishing to have the chance to work with Kadyrov must show the ability to “fulfill on time and precisely tasks set them, the ability to overcome any obstacles and to bring to life the most interesting projects,” according to the program description.

Previous employees of Kadyrov have not always reported happy experiences. A former bodyguard of Kadyrov once accused his boss of personally torturing him, claiming Kadyrov laughed as he electrocuted him.

The show is the latest of Kadyrov’s elaborate media operations, which he has used to craft an image that blends Rambo machismo with religious piety and a veneration for Russian president Vladimir Putin. The Chechen president has a hugely popular Instagram account, on which he posts videos of himself cuddling cats, wrestling subordinates and firing machine guns into the air.

In a video posted on his Instagram account Thursday, Kadyrov was shown making kissing faces at a young deer.

Kadyrov is viewed as Putin’s personal henchman in Chechnya, tasked by the Russian president with maintaining calm in the Republic after two devastating wars with Russia since the fall of the U.S.S.R. The relative peace in Chechnya under Kadyrov has been bought with huge investment from Moscow and often brutal violence by the Chechen leader’s militias.

Despite his elaborate expressions of loyalty to Putin -- regularly wearing T-shirts with Putin’s face on them -- many Russians are unnerved by Kadyrov’s antics. With an army of thousands of heavily armed troops under his direct command and signs of his involvement in political assassinations in Moscow, they worry he may slip out of the Kremlin’s control.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Attack on Turkey Could Form Pretext to Further Civil Rights Crackdown

iStock/Thinkstock(ISTANBUL) -- The attack on Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul that left 43 people dead and hundreds more injured, could be used as a pretext to further an ongoing civil rights crackdown in the country, according to experts who spoke with ABC News.

Turkish officials reportedly imposed a media blackout in the wake of the attacks, and social media users in Turkey confirmed to ABC News that Facebook and Twitter were shut down in the aftermath of Tuesday's coordinated attack on the airport, a tactic that was described by one resident as "standard protocol" following incidents of terrorism.

The political dynamic in Turkey is a fragile one today, largely because of the leadership style of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to Gönül Töl, the founding director of the Middle East Institute’s Center for Turkish Studies. Töl described Erdogan as an "autocrat" who came into power in 2002 on a wave of optimism among secularists and liberals, but seized greater control of the country in the years following 2011, when he was reelected for his third consecutive term.

According to Töl, citizens expected Erdogan to diminish an atmosphere of Islamic conservatism in the country. Early signs were positive, she said, as Erdogan strengthened ties with the European Union, and made efforts to recognize the country's long neglected Kurdish minority, who she estimates make up roughly 20 percent of the country.

But the 2011 election signaled the beginning of radical changes in Turkey that continue to define the country's political culture today.

Erdogan's party, AKP, grew in influence after the election, and the Turkish Army, considered by many to be a voice for secularism, declined in stature. Töl said that in addition to adopting a tone more associated with conservative Islamism, like the many controversial remarks he has made about women in recent years, Erdogan and his government have also taken greater control of Turkish media, virtually eliminating independent voices from public discourse in the country. Today, she said, Erdogan has cultivated a reputation for dictating the day's headlines directly to his media employees.

Social media platforms, naturally, are more difficult to control due to the profusion of different voices on them, so sites like Facebook and Twitter are frequently blocked in times of crisis, like after Tuesday's attack, or whenever the government wants to control the flow of information. Many Turkish citizens work around government censorship on social media through the use of VPN software, which enables them to access blocked websites by obscures the location of their IP address.

Another tactic that is employed, according to Töl, is the use of paid "trolls," who are hired to attack writers or social media voices that Erdogan's government considers to be too critical of his point of view. She said that she was a victim of paid-trolling attacks last month after an article she wrote for Foreign Affairs angered Turkish officials.

"After 2011, the true identity of Erdogan was revealed," she said.

Ege Seçkin, a senior political analyst for IHS in London, echoed many of Töl's points, and added that terrorist attacks increase the probability that such repressive tactics will be increased in measure.

"Like you have in the United States with policing terrorism," Seçkin told ABC News by phone, "there is a balance between liberty and security, and right now in Turkey, the balance is tilting to security."

Seçkin cited the evolution of the Gezi Park protests, a wave of liberal-minded demonstrations that initially began to contest the urban development plan of the Istanbul-based park in 2013, as an example of how anti-terror laws were being used to stifle critics of the Turkish government.

The protests, which resulted in bouts of civil unrest in Turkey, and remain a cultural touchstone for Turkish citizens in their efforts to oppose Erdogan, produced sporadic clashes between riot police and protesters that Seçkin explained has been used as a way for the government to dismiss any form of dissent out of hand as terrorism.

M.B., a Ph.D. student in Istanbul who spoke to ABC News under the condition that she remain anonymous as a way to protect her university from receiving backlash from the government, said she participated in the Gezi Park protests and has been active in protesting the government since. She called Erdogan's treatment of political dissenters "brutal" and said that despite his rhetoric condemning ISIS and ISIS-inspired attacks, he ultimately treated Islamic extremists more favorably than he did peaceful dissenters.

"Turkish security forces are brutal with peaceful protesters, and peaceful with ISIS brutes," she said in a phone interview.

M.B. described the political environment in Turkey as "worsening," with Turkish residents being caught between the violence of groups like ISIS and a government that uses that violence as a way of robbing them of free press and basic civil liberties.

"It feels like we're living in hell here," she said, referring to Tuesday's attack and its potential political aftermath. "And we haven't even hit rock bottom yet."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Brexit Campaigner Boris Johnson Drops Out of Run for Prime Minister

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) — The battle for the United Kingdom's Conservative Party leadership has been transformed after former London Mayor Boris Johnson, who helped guide the U.K. out of the European Union, unexpectedly announced that he will not run for prime minister.

"My role will be to give every possible support to the next Conservative administration to make sure that we properly fulfil the mandate of the people that was delivered at the referendum," Johnson said in a speech today, "and to champion the agenda that I believe in, to stick up for the forgotten people of this country."

Johnson was at the forefront of the campaign in favor of “Brexit” and was widely expected to run for the party leadership.

British politicians Theresa May, Michael Gove, Stephen Crabb, Liam Fox and Andrea Leadsom have so far confirmed that they are running for party leadership to succeed to Prime Minister David Cameron, who said he will step down later this year after his failed efforts to keep the U.K. in the E.U.

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250 ISIS Militants Killed in US Airstrikes, Officials Say

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  Hundreds of ISIS militants were killed in a series of U.S. and Iraqi airstrikes Wednesday that targeted two large vehicle convoys fleeing the western Iraqi cities of Fallujah and Ramadi, according to U.S. officials.

Officials estimate that at least 250 ISIS fighters were killed in the airstrikes outside of Fallujah and that at least 175 vehicles were destroyed in the airstrikes outside both of the cities.

Over the last two days, U.S. and Iraqi aircraft targeted the large convoys of ISIS fighters as they fled both cities, said Col. Chris Garver, the spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve.

Between Tuesday and Wednesday night, "surveillance and intelligence reports identified one large group of Da'esh vehicles gathering in neighborhoods southwest of Fallujah, west of the Tofaha Bridge," Garver said. Da'esh is the Arabic acronym for ISIS.

After Iraqi Security Forces targeted the convoy of ISIS fighters, "Iraqi Air Force and Coalition airstrikes attacked the convoy throughout the night and into Wednesday morning," Garver said. "We estimate Coalition strikes destroyed approximately 55 Da'esh vehicles and we know the Iraqi Security Forces destroyed more."

Initial assessments were that at least 250 ISIS fighters were killed in the airstrike outside Fallujah, senior Defense Department officials said. "We’re still assessing the strikes and gathering details" but the number of fighters killed is "consistent with our early assessments," one of the officials said.

Later on Wednesday, another large vehicle convoy of ISIS fighters was detected east of Ramadi in the Albu Bali neighborhood. "When strikes from both Iraqi and Coalition air hit the convoy, the Da'esh fighters abandoned their vehicles and fled on foot," Garver said.

"We estimate Coalition strikes destroyed approximately 120 Da'esh vehicles," Garver said. "Again, we know the Iraqi Security Forces destroyed more."

Earlier Wednesday, Garver had said that Fallujah will soon be turned over to an Iraqi "holding force" of local police and Sunni tribesmen. Iraqi security forces began the offensive to retake the city in late May and were able to retake the city after a five week battle. Iraqi forces initially encountered significant ISIS resistance, but they made steady progress as they pushed out from the center of the city.

More than 100 airstrikes have been carried out near Fallujah since May 21, according to U.S. officials.

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EgyptAir Flight 804 Data Recorder Indicates Smoke in Bathroom, Avionics Bay

iStock/Thinkstock(CAIRO) -- Information pulled from EgyptAir Flight 804's data recorder suggests smoke may have been detected in a lavatory and the avionics bay in the moments before the doomed flight plunged into the Mediterranean Sea on May 19, the Egyptian government said Wednesday.

Some of the wreckage, recovered from the front section of the aircraft, showed signs of high temperature damage and soot, the Egyptian Aircraft Accident Investigation Committee reported.

Experts say the smoke alerts indicate that the plane, an Airbus A320 carrying 66 people from Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport to Cairo International, likely suffered an electrical fire.

According to Egyptian investigators, preliminary data show that the flight data recorder abruptly cut off at an altitude of 37,000 feet.

Wednesday's information is consistent with data from the plane's ACARS (Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System), leaked to The Aviation Herald late last month.

At the time, an A320 chief avionics mechanic for a major U.S. airline said that the ACARS data suggest that the window heater computer in the avionics compartment may have malfunctioned, which could have eventually led to a total electrical failure on the jet.

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