Russian airplane crash over Sinai caused by bomb, Russia confirms

(JTA) – Russia has confirmed that a Russian chartered airplane that crashed over the Sinai was brought down by a bomb.

“We can say definitely that this was a terrorist act,” Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the Federal Security Service, told Russia’s Security Council on Tuesday, The New York Times reported.

The explosive device was a homemade bomb and was detonated shortly after the plane took off from the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, he said.

All 224 people aboard were killed in the Oct. 31 crash, including a former program director for Hillel Russia.

The Sinai affiliate of the Islamic State claimed responsibility for bringing down the passenger flight, saying it was in retaliation for Russian airstrikes on rebels in Syria’s civil war.

Some of the intelligence intercepts used to assess what happened to the airplane came from Israel and were passed along to the United States and Britain, according to reports.

Russia began launching airstrikes on Syria in September, saying it was coordinating with Syrian President Bashar Assad to combat terror groups such as the Islamic State.

“Our air force’s military work in Syria must not simply be continued,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday. “It must be intensified in such a way that the criminals understand that retribution is inevitable.”

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