Breaking News!!! CNN Quoting U.S. Intelligence Sources Reports that Russian Metrojet Flight 9268 was Most likely brought down by ISIS Bomb Aboard the Plane
The latest U.S. intelligence suggests that the crash of Metrojet Flight 9268 was most likely caused by a bomb on the plane planted by ISIS or an ISIS affiliate, according to a U.S. official familiar with the matter.
“There is a definite feeling it was an explosive device planted in luggage or somewhere on the plane,” the official said, stressing that no formal conclusion had been reached by the U.S. intelligence community.
The assessment was reached, the official said, by looking back at intelligence reports that had been gathered before Saturday’s plane crash and intelligence gathered since then. The United States did not have credible or verified intelligence of a specific threat before the crash. However, the official said, “there had been additional activity in Sinai that had caught our attention.”
Another U.S. official said the intelligence regarding ISIS is in part based on monitoring of internal messages of the terrorist group. Those messages are separate from public ISIS claims of responsibility, that official said.
The Russian passenger jet crashed Saturday in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula after breaking apart in midair, killing all 224 people on board.
News of the U.S. intelligence analysis comes hours after British Prime Minister David Cameron’s office said a bomb may have caused the crash.
While the investigation is still ongoing, we cannot say categorically why the Russian jet crashed,” the Prime Minister’s office said. “But as more information has come to light, we have become concerned that the plane may well have been brought down by an explosive device.”
Flights due to leave Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, for the United Kingdom were being delayed his office said, as a precautionary measure to allow British aviation experts to assess security arrangements at the city’s airport, Cameron’s office said in its statement.
Ireland also said Wednesday that it was suspending all flights to and from Sharm el-Sheikh until further notice, according to a statement from the Irish Aviation Authority.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry called the British decision to suspend flights “somewhat premature,” as the investigation is not complete.
“We can appreciate, of course, the sense of responsibility and desire to provide protection to UK citizens. This is a desire that we equally share,” he told CNN shortly after the British government’s announcement. “But I think it is somewhat premature to make declarations related to what might or might not have happened to the aircraft before the investigation is completed and before there is a definitive cause for this crash.”
No data has been recovered so far from the flight recorders, according to an official familiar with the investigation underway by the French Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses (BEA).
Responding to a CNN question about the British government’s concern that an explosive device brought down the plane, the French official said “the teams are still working on the CVR and FDR, this information from the British government could not have come from a technical investigation. Nothing so far came out of the flight recorders.”
The CVR, the cockpit voice recorder, and the FDR, the flight data recorder, are sometimes colloquially known as “black boxes.”
The BEA is the French entity responsible for investigating aviation incidents. It’s involved in the investigation of the Metrojet crash because the plane was a French-built Airbus.
Egypt’s Civil Aviation Ministry said earlier Wednesday that the cockpit voice recorder had been damaged and that the contents of the flight data recorder has been “extracted and validated.”
Russia’s privately owned Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed source in Cairo as saying the plane’s cockpit voice recorder had captured uncharacteristic sounds the moment before the flight disappeared.
It cited the source as saying that an “unexpected’ and “nonstandard (emergency)” occurred “instantly,” which was why the pilots failed to send an emergency or alarm signal