The world may have moved on from the tragic terrorist attack that took place just three weeks ago above Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, which killed all 224, but for some inexplicable reason Russia refused to admit what was obvious to most from the first minutes since ISIS released a video clip of the midair explosion: that the crash was the result of a bomb set to go off shortly after take off. But no longer.
Moments ago the Kremlin confirmed for the first time on Tuesday that a bomb did bring down a Russian passenger plane that crashed over the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt on Oct. 31, killing all 224 people on board.
“One can unequivocally say that it was a terrorist act,” Alexander Bortnikov, the head of Russia’s FSB security service, told a meeting chaired by President Vladimir Putin, according to a transcript published on the Kremlin’s web site.
Bortnikov added that during the flight, a homemade 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.”
This not the first time that Russia has faced “barbarous terrorist crimes, more often without apparent causes, outside or domestic, as it was with the explosion at the railway station in Volgograd at the end of 2013.” Bortnikov added: “We haven’t forgotten anything or anyone. The murder of our nationals in Sinai is among the bloodiest crimes in [terms of] the number of casualties.”
Putin also spoke, vowing to find and punish the culprits behind the Sinai plane attack. “Our military work in Syria must not only continue. It must be strengthened in such a way so that the terrorists will understand that retribution is inevitable.”
“The murder of our people in Sinai is among the bloodiest crimes in terms of the number of victims. We won’t wipe the tears out of our souls and hearts. This will remain with us forever. But it won’t stop us from finding and punishing the perpetrators.”
According to RT, Russia will act in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter, which provides for countries’ right to self-defense, Putin said. “Those who attempt to assist criminals should be aware that the consequences of such attempts will be entirely their responsibility,” he added.
Finally, just to make sure Russia gets its blood debt repaid, The Russian Federal Security Service director also announced a reward of $50 million for information on those behind the terror attack on the A321.
And in a parallel development, of which there will soon be many more, Independent reported that Egyptian security forces shot dead 24 Isis militants in central Sinai, 70 km from the crash site of the Russian passenger plane the group claimed it brought down, security sources have said.
Security sources said they killed the militants as they hid inside a cave in a mountainous area and that they arrested eight of them.
Sinai Province, Isis’s Egypt branch, is active in North Sinai where two years ago it launched an insurgency and has since killed hundreds of soldiers and policemen. It is rarely active outside that area.
Assuming there were higher powers behind the Russian plane bombing than just a bunch of cave-dwelling a la carte terrorists, those arrested may just be tempted enough by the $50 million award to reveal who the mastermind behind this particular terrorist attack was.