Islamic State reveals ‘how it brought down the Russian plane in Sinai’

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ISLAMIC State has shared photos of a homemade bomb it claims it used to bring down a Russian passenger plane over Sinai in Egypt last month, killing 224 people.

The latest edition of propaganda magazine, Dabiq, claims an improvised explosive device was hidden in a can of Schweppes Gold pineapple juice. The picture’s authenticity could not be confirmed.

According to the publication, the militants smuggled the bomb on board the airliner after discovering a “way to compromise the security” at the Egyptian airport, but did not elaborate.

They claimed they had initially planned to down a plane belonging to a country from the US-led coalition targeting militants in Iraq and Syria.

They instead decided to target the Metrojet airliner departing the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on October 31 after Moscow began an air campaign in Syria in late September, the magazine said.

Another photograph purported to show passports belonging to Russian passengers killed in the bombing, with the documents allegedly obtained by Islamic fighters.

Entitled “Just Terror”, the magazine’s cover shows the victims of last week’s Paris attacks being treated by the emergency services.

The Russian Federal Security Service announced on Tuesday that a terrorist attack caused the A321 plane en route to St Petersburg to crash in Sinai.

It claimed traces of explosives have been found in the wreckage, which included passengers’ belongings and parts of the plane.

“During the flight, a homemade device with the power of 1.5 kilograms of TNT was detonated,” FSB chief Aleksandr Bortnikov said, adding that “traces of a foreign-made explosive substance” have been found.

Although Egypt has not confirmed the findings, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has agreed to co-operate with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“In the context of the efforts to find the criminals involved in the terrorist act against the Russian airliner, close co-operation was agreed on between the security services of Russia and Egypt,” the Kremlin said in a statement after the leaders spoke by phone.

The intention is to put in place “additional measures to assure the maximum security of air traffic between the two countries in order to re-establish it as soon as possible,” the statement said.

Cairo has insisted it is waiting for the results of an Egyptian-led probe before giving a definitive verdict on what caused the crash that killed all 224 people on board.

Egyptian authorities said that they were enhancing security in airports around the country over the possibility the plane was “targeted by a terrorist attack.”

Moscow suspended all flights to Egypt on November 6 citing the need to bolster airport security, but at the time it played down growing Western suspicions that a bomb had blown its plane out of the sky.

Mr Putin has pledged to find and “punish” those responsible for the attack — the bloodiest against a Russian target since the Beslan school massacre in 2004 — and his security service has offered a $50 million reward to help find the culprits.

While Moscow has not explicitly blamed any specific group for the attack, jihadists linked to the Islamic State group claimed responsibility and Russian jets stepped up air strikes against IS targets in Syria after confirming the bombing.

Moscow launched a massive operation to repatriate tens of thousands of stranded holiday-makers after cutting air links with Egypt and Russia’s state tourism agency told TASS news agency that the last of those planning to come back would return home on Wednesday.

source:news.com.au

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