Russia says passenger plane in Egypt downed by 'homemade' terrorist bomb, vows vengeance

Russia says a bomb did bring down a charter jet in Egypt
(Image credit: Seliman Al-Oteifi/AFP/Getty Images)

Confirming what Western intelligence agencies had suspected, Russia said early Tuesday that a bomb brought down a chartered passenger plane soon after taking off from Egypt on Oct. 31, killing all 224 people on board. In a late-night meeting on Monday, Alexander Bortnikov, the head of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), said that Russian specialists had found traces of a foreign-made bomb in fragments of the wreckage. "According to our experts, a homemade explosive device equivalent to 1 kilogram of TNT went off onboard, which caused the plane to break up in the air, which explains why the fuselage was scattered over such a large territory," he told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a nationally televised meeting at the Kremlin. "I can certainly say that this was a terrorist act."

Putin vowed revenge. "We will search for them everywhere, no matter where they are hiding," he told his security council. "We will find them in any place on the planet and will punish them." The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, and Putin said he would ramp up Russian airstrikes in Syria. The bombing campaign "must be intensified in such a way that the criminals understand that retribution is inevitable," he said. Russia offered $50 million for any information leading to the perpetrators. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who has dismissed speculation of terrorist involvement in the crash, did not respond to requests for a statement from The New York Times.

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