The crash of the Russian Airbus A321-200 in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula has caused tension around the world. The crash, which killed all 224 souls on board, is now being investigated as a possible terrorist action.
The militant group ISIS almost immediately claimed responsibility for the downed plane. Russian officials have rebuked the claim, saying that the investigation needs to be completed before any such conclusion can be made. In the meantime, Air France and Lufthansa have ceased flights over the peninsula until the investigation is complete and the results are released to the world.
The deputy general director of Metrojet, Alexander Smirmov, almost immediately ruled out the possibility of the crash being caused by pilot error or technical issues. ”The only possible explanation could be an external impact on the airplane,” Smirmov said. His comment as well as other preliminary evidence has led security officials in the United States and in Europe to believe that the Airbus crash was due to outside influences.
Initially, investigators thought the plane may have been hit by a missile but that theory was quickly dismissed because there are no known groups in the area that have access to a missile system with the ability to reach 31,000 feet. Paul Beaver, a British military analyst said that the peninsula where the crash occurred is heavily monitored by intelligence agencies, and therefore a missile would likely have been spotted.
These factors have lead investigators now to believe that a bomb was likely planted onboard the plane before takeoff, leading countries like the United States to beef up security at airports once again.
While the United States and Europe have speculated on the possibility of the bomb scenario, Russian and Egyptian officials continue to advise that no such conclusion has been made and it could be months before the investigation is complete.