Officials confirm a bomb was responsible for bringing down a Russian commercial aircraft, offering a $50 million reward for information
The Russian government is now offering a $50 million bounty for information regarding the MetroJet incident in October, confirming that a bomb was planted on the aircraft in an act of terrorism. State-owned news agency Sputnik News reports the claims of an explosive were confirmed by the head of the Russian Security Service during a cabinet meeting.
The Russian government officials now believe a bomb containing the equivalent of 2.2 pounds of TNT was planted aboard Kogalymavia (7K) Flight 9268 at Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport (SSH). Investigators came to the conclusion after looking into the cargo aboard the Airbus A321 and finding trace residue of explosives on the recovered items.
“Investigations have been completed on the personal belongings, baggage, and parts of the plane that crashed in Egypt on October 31,” Alexander Bortnikov, leader of the Russian Security Service, told the cabinet meeting according to Sputnik News. “As a result of expertise conducted on all of the items…traces of foreign explosive material were exposed.”
Immediately after the announcement, Russian president Vladimir Putin decried the fate of 7K9268 as an act of terrorism. The government subsequently announced a $50 million reward for insight on those responsible for planting the explosive device aboard the aircraft.
“It is not the first time Russia has faced these barbaric terrorist crimes, which often come without any visible reasons, internal or external,” Putin said in a statement, reported by Sputnik News. “We haven’t forgotten anything or anyone.”
The confirmation of a bomb comes as Egypt continues to ramp up their investigation while attempting to separate themselves from terrorist activity. NBC News reports two people at SSH were questioned in relation to 7K9268, but the Egyptian interior ministry later clarified they were not arrested.
All 224 people aboard 7K9268 were killed after the aircraft crashed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Saturday, October 31. Since then, several European nations have restricted flying to Egypt, including Russia and the United Kingdom.