01:01 GMT +324 March 2017
    This image released by the Prime Minister's office shows the tail of a Metrojet plane that crashed in Hassana Egypt, Friday, Oct. 31, 2015

    US Intelligence: Metrojet A321 Likely Brought Down by Extremists

    © AP Photo/ Suliman el-Oteify, Egypt Prime Minister's Office via AP
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    According to unnamed US intelligence officials speaking to CNN, the latest intel suggests that Metrojet Flight 9268 was likely brought down by an explosive device planted by ISIL or an ISIL affiliate.

    "There is a definite feeling it was an explosive device planted in luggage or somewhere on the plane," the officials told CNN's Barbara Starr. "The feeling is that the explosive device somehow got by Sinai officials," Starr added.

    The new assessment is based on intelligence reports collected prior to Saturday's incident. While there was not necessarily indication of a specific threat before the crash, the official said "there had been additional activity in Sinai that had caught our attention."

    The official stressed, however, that no formal conclusion has yet been reached.

    A separate US official indicated to CNN that the IS hypothesis is based on monitoring of internal messages from the terrorist organization.

    Earlier on Wednesday, the office of British Prime Minister David Cameron made similar statements.

    "While the investigation is still ongoing we cannot say categorically why the Russian jet crashed," Cameron's office said, according to CNN. "But as more information has come to light we have become concerned that the plane may well have been brought down by an explosive device."

    The UK's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond also concurred.

    "We have concluded that there is a significant possibility that the crash was caused by an explosive device on board the aircraft," he said, according to Reuters.

    While Sharm el-Sheikh airport officials stressed that airspace is safe, a number of countries have banned flights through the region as a matter of precaution, most recently Ireland.

    Flight recorders of Russian A321 plane that crashed in Sinai
    © Photo: Press-service of Russian Emergency Situations Ministry

    Following Saturday's crash, the self-proclaimed Islamic State terrorist group did take responsibility for the attack, but did not reveal any evidence to confirm those claims. Security experts also questioned whether IS had the capability of bringing down a passenger jet from the ground.

    US intelligence chief James Clapper had earlier indicated that it was unlikely that the aircraft could have been brought down by IS, but "I wouldn't rule it out."

    Also on Wednesday, the the Egypt-led commission investigating the crash stressed that any speculation concerning the cause of the crash were not based on concrete evidence.

    The Airbus A321 crashed on Saturday while en route to St. Petersburg. All 224 people on board were killed. The Egyptian authorities are currently leading the investigation, with Russia, Ireland, and France also taking part in the probe.

    On Wednesday, White House Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes told Sputnik that US satellite data on the plane crash is an intelligence matter.

    "I won't get into the intelligence issues," he said when asked if the US would share satellite data with Russia.

    Flight 9268, Metrojet, Russia
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    • avatar
      Neil McGowan
      Luggage? What about being placed in the engines by al-Qaeda infiltrators at the airport?
    • sophm0e38
      What's their evidence? Tea leaves?
    • avatar
      The same US intelligence that saw the downing of MH17 and pointed the finger at Russia?
    • avatar
      Neil McGowanin reply tosophm0e38(Show commentHide comment)
      sophm0e38, The black boxes show clearly that the engines had exploded, and the pilots couldn't control the plane. That doesn't happen by accident.
    • avatar
      mehrdadkovichniin reply tojameskees(Show commentHide comment)
      jameskees, nah, i think it's the either the same handicapped ''intelligence'' that bombed the doctors without borders hospital in afghanistan, or the unreliable purposely deceptive ''intelligence'' that saw wmd's in iraq.
    • avatar
      Well, the timing is perfect to remove the multiple MSF hospital bombings that we know were done by the Outlaw Empire and its satrap Saudi Wahabia.
    • jaodernein garshinvic
      A big question is why no country of the "coalition" was hit by a retaliation of ISIL during their 13 months of bombings while the Russian are victims of this crime only after a few weeks...(answer: fake bombings of coalition make no damage...)

      Some websites point the finger to Saudis intelligence, acting with Egyptian connivance (with their friends looking the other way) But it's only the usual game of suspects

      Wondering why the US accused ISIL so quickly
    • avatar
      The US barbarians are almost celebratory in predicting this cause. The Pentagon predicted that Russia would pay a price for fighting ISIL. Whose side is the US on? *rhetorical question*
    • avatar
      Yesterday the Russian 24x7 news and documentaries television station "Russia 24" presented a long documentary of jet airliner "tail strikes", an accident that happens to airliners, mostly on landings, when the pilot landing the airliner has raised the nose of his aircraft higher than normal, "nose high", in those moments when the aircraft just touches down on the airport runway. Several graphic, actual, examples of that type of "tail strike" airliner accident were actually shown in videos in the Russia 24 documentary. Aeronautical engineers and other experts showed in detail how significant structural damage to the tail section of an airliner's fuselage can and does occur in a "tail strike" accident. The documentary also included an animation video of what happens to the fuselage of an airliner when the tail section breaks off due to "tail strike" structural failure, including the outflow of seats, luggage, contents of the baggage compartment, and people. That part of the documentary could explain the debris pattern investigators found spread out on the ground.
      Although the airline's executives claimed that their 20-year old A-321 had successfully passed all required inspections, anyone who knows how extensive bribery is throughout Europe and the Middle East might well doubt how truly 'successful' those cited inspections of that old A-321 really were. It's far too easy to blame terrorists when the facts are not known, so "tail strike" structural damage to the tail section of that A-321 and the tail section separating from the aircraft because of bribed aircraft structure inspector(s) and falsified inspection reports is as good an explanation for the tragedy as any of the others.
    • in reply toNeil McGowan(Show commentHide comment)
      Neil McGowan, At this time nothing can be ruled out. ISIS has claimed responsibility and has said they will show proof. They are everywhere in our world and this won't be the last time they use terrorism to show their evil intentions.
    • avatar
      Am i mistaken or before they were saying that it was not possible???
    • vvj3080
      US Dollar containing the phrase ' In God We Trust' should be changed to 'I ISIS we Trust'
    • avatar
      Looks like the US and UK are trying a coordinated attempt to lead investigators off course by saying that the MetroJet was brought down an explosive device on board. Have they seen the evidence?

      What both have not revealed is that at the material time of the crash the US and Israel plus Greek and Polish military jets were conducting an exercise in the Arava Desert just next to the Sinai desert. Could someone use an over the horison missile to shot down the Metrojet?

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