By: Joseph Spirk
On Saturday, October 31, a Russian passenger plane carrying 224 people on board crashed shortly after take off in the Sinai Peninsula after departing from the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh.
The crashed killed all those on board. The plane consisted of mostly Russian tourists and was headed back to the Russian city of St. Petersburg. Egyptian authorities say they received no SOS calls from the airliner before it disappeared off radar which hints at an unforeseen event most likely occurring. So far an affiliate of the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack. However, Egyptian authorities say it is too early to draw conclusions on who actually brought down the plane.
The area where the plane crashed was a military zone that has been closed to the public after a long-running insurgency between local jihadist groups and the Egyptian government. The Director of Russia’s Interstate Aviation Commission, Viktor Sorochenko, says the wreckage of the plane is spread over an eight-square-mile swath of desert, which means the plane most likely disintegrated in mid-air and then fell back to Earth.
Russian authorities came out to the public saying they found “traces of explosive devices” at the crash site which could hint at a bomb taking down the Airbus A321 passenger jet. Russian authorities are working with Egyptian, American, French, and British intelligence and security forces to determine what actually caused the plane to crash and who is responsible.
UPDATE: As of November 17 Russian authorities have confirmed that a “homemade explosive device” planted in the plane was in fact what brought down the passenger plane and it was almost certain the Islamic State was responsible.