Russia has confirmed that a home-made bomb exploded in mid-air causing the crash of the Russian Airbus A321 airliner in Egypt’s Sinai region killing 224 passengers and crew on October 31.
Alexander Bortnikov, the head of Russia’s FSB security service, told a meeting chaired by President Vladimir Putin that traces of foreign-made explosive had been found on fragments of the downed plane and on passengers’ personal belongings, various Russian media reported.
“According to an analysis by our specialists, a homemade bomb containing up to 1 kilogram of TNT detonated during the flight, causing the plane to break up in mid air, which explains why parts of the fuselage were spread over such a large distance,” said Bortnikov..
“We can unequivocally say it was a terrorist act,” Bortnikov said in footage shown on Russian TV channels.
Putin responded by saying the incident was one of the bloodiest acts in modern Russian history and ordered the Russian air force to intensify its air strikes in Syria in response.
“It (our campaign) must be intensified in such a way that the criminals understand that retribution is inevitable,” said Putin.
Ordering the country’s secret service to hunt down those responsible for blowing up the plane, he said the effort to bring them to justice should be exhaustive.
“We will search for them everywhere wherever they are hiding. We will find them anywhere on the planet and punish them,” Putin said.