Russia’s security chief, FSB head Alexander Bortnikov, acknowledged that terrorism downed a Metrojet flight which crashed in the Sinai several weeks ago, killing 224 people – long after Western intelligence declared that terrorist involvement was ‘probable.’
Intelligence experts believe Metrojet Flight 9268 was destroyed as the result of an explosion in its luggage bay shortly after the jet took off from Sharm al-Sheikh airport. The airplane’s two black box flight recorders revealed a “very sudden explosive decompression” 24 minutes into the flight.
Now, Bortnikov has at least partially confirmed those beliefs, telling Russian President Vladimir Putin that “traces of foreign explosives” were found in the wreckage.
Putin has vowed to intensify airstrikes against Islamic State (ISIS) in response, Interfax reports Tuesday, calling it the “bloodiest of crimes.”
He further vowed to “find and punish” those responsible for the attack.
“The combat work of our aviation in Syria must not only be continued. It must be intensified so that the criminals understand that vengeance is inevitable,” Putin stated.
Late Monday night, Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev admitted terrorism “was being considered” among the causes for the crash, but this marks the first full acknowledgement of ISIS involvement from a Russian official.