Russia Stops Flights To Egypt As Evidence Grows Terrorists Downed Airliner

  • by: Alan Duke

Russia halted all flights to Egypt as evidence mounted that terrorists did cause the crash of Metrojet Flight 9268 on October 31, 2015, a reversal of Russia's rejection of the theory. All 224 people on board the Airbus 320 died in the air disaster above the Sinai desert.

An affiliate of ISIS claimed in the hours after the plane went down claimed responsibility, but Egyptian and Russian officials insisted it was not an act of terrorism. A video posted online purported to show the jet exploded and plunging to earth, although Lead Stories has been unable to verify its authenticity.

France 2 reported that European investigators who analyzed the two flight data recorders concluded the crash was not an accident. Investigators said the cockpit voice recorder suggested an explosion and the flight data recorder confirmed the explosion was not an accident. The report said the first 24 minutes of the fight were normal followed by immediate silence.

Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended Russian flights to Egypt until the probe is completed, the Kremlin said.

The United States and Britain shared their intelligence with Russia concerning the Metrojet crash before Putin made the decision to suspend flights, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNN's Matthew Chance late Friday.

Putin spoke with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi about the security situation in Egypt.

"The two leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation between the relevant security authorities in the two countries," el-Sisi's office said. "It was agreed that Russian flights to Egypt would resume at the soonest time possible."

British Prime Minister David Cameron said this week that a terrorist bomb "more likely than not" caused the crash. U.S. and UK intelligence sources agree that it was probably a terror act, although Russian and Egyptian officials refused to acknowledge the possibility.


  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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