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Metrojet airliner brought down by bomb, says Russian intelligence service
The Russian-owned Sputnik News website has quoted the FSB’s chief Alexander Bortnikov as saying the Metrojet airliner that went down over Egypt's Sinai peninsula in October was “definitely” downed intentionally.
The Russian Intelligence Security Service revealed that traces of explosives were found among the debris, after weeks of speculation about what had caused the crash.
“We can definitely say this was a terrorist attack,” Bortnikov was reported to have said, adding that 1kg of a TNT equivalent had been used to bring down the Airbus A321 travelling for Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg in Russia.
For weeks following the crash on October 31 there was speculation about what had brought the plane down, with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group posting a claim of responsibility shortly after the incident.
Metrojet ruled out a technical fault with the plane shortly after ISIL’s claim, and Western politicians and intelligence officials suggested it was likely a deliberate explosion had brought the airliner down.
The suggestions of an intentional attack were dismissed by Egypt and Russia as speculation, as their investigators continued their work.
Sinai is home to ISIL’s Sinai Province affiliate, which has carried out frequent attacks against Egyptian security forces and officials.
Observers suggested that the group may have taken advantage of lax security at Sharm el-Sheikh airport, or used an insider to place the explosive.
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