The U.S. intelligence agencies said that they intercepted Russian communications, showing that they believed Airbus A321 with 224 people that crashed on Sinai peninsula in Egypt on October 31 was destroyed by a bomb on board, Joinfo.ua reports with the reference to Reuters.
The intercepted communications, along with evidence from the carsh site and debris, lead U.S. officials to a conclusion, that an explosive device, which was planted on the Flight 9268, exploded shortly after the Airbus A321 took off from Sharm al-Sheikh, the sources said.
It should be recalled that on October 31, the Airbus 321 of Kogalymavia took off at 5:51 a.m. from Sharm el-Sheikh airport to St Petersburg in Russia. 23 minutes later the plane disappeared from the radar, and then it crashed in the mountainous area of central Sinai, killing 217 passengers and 7 crew members.
Egypt and Russia are now investigating the crash to find the cause of the disaster.
Both countries dismissed as premature U.S. and British assessments last week that a bomb likely was responsible. Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands have suspended flights to and from Sharm al-Sheikh, leaving thousands of European tourists stranded in the Red Sea resort. Later Russian Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviation) was instructed by the Ministry of Transport to suspend flights to Egypt untill the end of investigation.
Over the weekend, Russia mounted an airlift to repatriate thousands of Russian vacationers who had been stranded in Sinai after regular flights were canceled.
Within days of the crash, U.S. and British government sources were suggesting that intercepted communications chatter indicated that the plane had been brought down by a bomb.
The Islamic State’s local affiliate, which calls itself the Sinai Province of the Islamic State, claimed responsibility for the crash, and indicated it was in retaliation for Russia’s military intervention in the Syrian civil war.
A U.S. government source said on Monday that neither Russia nor Egypt has accepted an offer from the FBI to assist them in investigating the crash.
The FBI has offered “forensic assistance” and other unspecified services to both Russia and Egypt, FBI spokesman Joshua Campbell said.