Terrorists not able to down Russian plane in Egypt: Experts

Alwaght- Amid claims by ISIS terrorists that they shot down the Russian passenger jet that crashed over the Sinai Peninsula, civil aviation and security experts have rejected theories that the plane was downed by terrorists.

All 224 people on board the Kolavia airline’s flight from resort area Sharm El-Sheikh to Russia’s St. Petersburg died after the aircraft crashed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Saturday. Experts are still decoding the flight recorders, and the Russian Air Transport Agency has said that there is no point in hypothesizing about the cause of the crash until there is reliable data on the circumstances.

“As far as it’s known, Islamic State and its affiliate groups don’t have the capability to bring down aircraft flying at the height that this aircraft reportedly was, which is something around 10,000 meters,” security analyst and former UK counter-terrorism officer Charles Shoebridge told RT.

“That doesn’t mean to say though that at least theoretically they couldn’t bring the plane down by other means, for example by sabotage at the departing airport or a bomb on board,” he added, but pointed out that “mechanical failure of some sort is the most likely cause, as with most air accidents.”

As to why the terrorists would make such claims, Shoebridge said that it “increases their propaganda, and it also can be seen as punishment – as they would like to call it – for Russian involvement against ISIS in Syria, so therefore one can expect them to take advantage of [an] opportunity like this regardless whether they are responsible or not.”

Egypt’s former minister of civil aviation, Wail al-Madawi, agrees that terrorist groups in Sinai do not possess the capabilities to bring down a commercial aircraft flying that high. “Only a state can have such resources,” he told RT.

He added that considering the high altitude the plane gained 20 minutes into the flight, one would need search radars, radars to locate the plane, radars to control the fire. “Only a state can have such resources,” he added.

By Al Waght