Early on the morning of Oct. 31, a Metrojet airplane crashed on the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board the Russian airliner.
The plane was en route to St. Petersburg from Sharm el-Sheikh, an Egyptian resort on the Red Sea.
While the circumstances surrounding the crash remain shrouded in uncertainty, evidence from the Metrojet’s black boxes confirms speculation that a bomb brought down the Russian plane.
Following the crash, Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended all flights from Russia to Egypt until the reason behind the catastrophe could be ascertained.
Both the United States and Britain suggested the possibility that the crash resulted from an act of terrorism.
However, initially, both Russia and Egypt denied such speculation about a possible bombing.
Alexander Smirnov, the deputy general of Metrojet, issued a statement claiming that if a technical fault in the plane or pilot error were ruled out, “The only possible explanation could be an external impact on the plane.”
Russian resistance to the theory of terrorist involvement likely relates to the country’s involvement in Syria.
There, Russia has shown support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad through airstrikes against his opponents, including the terrorist group ISIS.
However, Russia seems to be making an about-face in its stance after being confronted by the evidence that a bomb brought down the Russian jet last month.
An investigation of the flight recorders has revealed that a bomb must have been the cause of the plane crash.
The recordings of these black boxes demonstrates that the flight was progressing normally based on conversation in the cockpit. The pilots did not send a distress signal or contact air controllers prior to the crash.
Within a fraction of a second, the recordings blackout, an indication that an explosion from a bomb must have been involved.
The evidence of the black boxes rules out structural failure, which would have generated a greater amount of noise for a longer time span.
Because there were no signs of mechanical malfunction, it has been confirmed that the explosion could not have been accidental.
Furthermore, Russia’s actions also affirm that terrorists were likely involved.
In recent years, the relationship between Russia and the United States has been strained, reminiscent of feelings dating back to the Cold War.
Despite this, Russia has requested the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation assist in the investigation of the charter plane crash.
Russia’s suspicions are, thus, exposed as Russia and the United States have often collaborated when facing a common threat, such as Muslim extremist groups like ISIS.
It remains uncertain whether or not ISIS was responsible for orchestrating the plane crash.
A Sinai branch associated with ISIS did claim culpability via terror-related social media accounts.
However, the group’s lack of detail in this act of terror that it has otherwise displayed to garner praise and generate propaganda leaves ISIS’s accountability questionable. Meanwhile, the Russian nation mourns as uncertainty over the crash that claimed so many lives still looms.