The Slatest

Russia Says Metrojet Crash Was Act of Terror, but Doesn’t Specifically Blame ISIS

A photo of Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh Airport’s departures board taken on Nov. 9, 2015.

Photo by Mohamed el-Shahed/AFP/Getty Images

As fallout from an apparent ISIS terror attack in Paris continues in Europe, Russian authorities announced that they believe the Oct. 31 crash of Metrojet Flight 9268 in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula was caused by a bomb packed with TNT and planted as an act of terror. U.S. and U.K intelligence officials have suspected as much since soon after the crash, in which all 224 individuals aboard a Russian aircraft bound from the Sharm el-Sheikh Airport to St. Petersburg were killed. Russian authorities did not go so far as to say that they conclusively believed ISIS planned the attack, though the terror group is widely suspected of having been responsible (and has taken credit) for the killings. From the New York Times:


On Tuesday, after hedging for 17 days, Russian officials acknowledged that the passenger jet had been downed by a bomb. “We can say definitely that this was a terrorist act,” Alexander V. Bortnikov, the head of the Federal Security Service, or F.S.B., said in remarks to Russia’s Security Council Monday night that were broadcast nationally on Tuesday morning.

An “improvised explosive device” detonated soon after the plane took off from the resort city of Sharm el Sheikh, he said, adding that “the plane disintegrated in midair, which explains the widely scattered fuselage pieces.”

Egyptian officials, at this point, are the only notable holdouts from the consensus that the flight was downed by terrorists; several outlets report that the Egyptians are concerned about the possible loss of tourism income that would result from admitting that their security forces failed to stop an attack.