Terror act downed Russian plane; Putin vows revenge
The Russian plane crash in Sinai, Egypt, on October 31 which killed all 244 aboard was caused by a powerful home-made bomb planted on the flight by terrorists as traces of the explosives were found in the wreckage of the plane, Federal Security Service director Aleksandr Bortnikov told President Vladimir Putin, RT and Sputnik report.
Even as Putin vowed revenge, Russia missiles launched from Mediterranean struck targets in IS stronghold Raqqa in Syria, France’s Le Monde newspaper said, citing a French official.
The announcement of the crash as a terror act was made at a meeting at which the final results of the investigation into the causes of the tragedy were officially confirmed.
“We can say that that Sinai plane crash] was a terror act,” Bortnikov told Putin.
According to the FSB chief, experts analyzed passengers’ belongings as well as the parts of the plane. “After the examination on all these objects, we have found traces of a foreign-made explosive substance,” Bortnikov said.
“During the flight, a home-made device with the power of 1.5 kilograms of TNT was detonated. As a result, the plane fell apart in the air, which can be explained by the huge scattering of the fuselage parts of the plane,” he said.
President Putin promised to find those responsible for the Russian passenger plane crash in Egypt in any part of the world and exact revenge.
“It is not the first time Russia has faced these barbaric terrorist crimes, which often come without any visible reasons, internal or external, as was the case with terrorist act in Volgograd back in 2013. We haven’t forgotten anything or anyone,” Putin said.
But Russia won’t be “wiping tears from our soul and heart,” he said. “This [tragedy] will stay with us forever. But this won’t stop us from finding and punishing the culprits.”
“We should pursue them without any statute of limitations and should know all of them by name. We will be looking for them wherever they would try to hide. We will find them in any part of the world and punish them,” he said.
The Federal Security Service director has announced a reward of $50 million for information on those behind the terror attack on the Kogalymavia A321 which was en route from Egypt’s resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg.
2 airport officials arrested
In another development, Egyptian officials have arrested two Sharm el-Sheikh airport workers on suspicion of aiding terrorists in planting a bomb on board the Russian plane, according to security staff.
The two workers have been on shift on the day of the Kogalymavia flight, according to a source at the airport.
It was not immediately clear what role the two employees had at the airport, which is Egypt’s third-busiest, handling a vast number of charter and budget flights for tourists seeking sea and sun in the southern Sinai peninsula.
Egyptian authorities have not yet confirmed the arrests.