"Bomb threat" email sent after Ryanair hijacked by Belarus
Email provider Proton Technologies said the "bomb threat" message used by Belarus to justify the interception and hijacking a Ryanair flight, was sent a few minutes after the diversion.
The aviation department of the Belarusian Ministry of Transport and Communications claimed that an email, signed by "Hamas soldiers", had been received by Minsk International Airport (MSQ) to warn of a bomb planted in flight. The email warned that the attack targeted participants at the Delphi Economic Forum, which took place in Athens on May 10-15, 2021.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said the email was sent from Switzerland. The Palestinian organization denied any involvement in the incident.
The email was used as a justification by the Belarusian regime to intercept with a MiG-29 fighter jet the Boana 737-800 Ryanair aircraft, registered SP-RSM, on flight FR4978 Athens (ATH) - Vilnius (VNO).
After the flight was forced to land in Minsk (MSQ), two passengers identified as opposition journalist Roman Protasevich and his partner Sofia Sapega were arrested by the KGB, the Belarusian security services.
However, on May 26, 2021, the Dossier Center research group showed inconsistencies in the Belarusian authorities' version. Indeed, the email sent by Ahmed Yurlanov to Minsk National Airport arrived at 12:57 local time, 27 minutes after the flight entered Belarusian airspace and 10 minutes after the plane landed in Minsk .
Proton Technologies, the encrypted email provider used to send the email, confirmed it was sent after the plane was diverted. "We found no credible evidence to support the allegations in Belarus", Wrote the Swiss company in a statement. "We will support the European authorities in their investigations after receiving a legal request."