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Russia Confirms Terrorism: A Homemade Bomb Took Out Passenger Plane

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Jonah Bennett Contributor

Russia confirmed Tuesday that a homemade bomb was responsible for bringing down the Russian passenger plane over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board.

“We can say definitely that this was a terrorist act,” Alexander Bortnikov, head of FSB, Russia’s security service, said, according to The New York Times.

Shortly after the FSB delivered the announcement, a Russian submarine in the eastern Mediterranean fired off advanced Kalibr cruise missiles, hitting Raqqa, Syria. Raqqa is the de-facto capital of the Islamic State, the group which immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. ISIS said that the attack came in response to Russian involvement in Syria.

The bomb on the plane was equivalent to about 2.2 pounds of TNT.

The explosion caused the Russian Airbus A321 to break apart in the air and scatter pieces over a large area. According to Bortnikov, the bomb was produced outside of Russia, though he declined to delve into specifics. The Russian investigation has been going for 17 days since Oct. 31. British and American intelligence came to the same conclusion within a few days, to the swift condemnation from Russia.

“In this work, including the search to find and punish the criminals, we are relying on all of our friends,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday. “We will act in accordance with the U.N. Charter’s Article 51, which gives each country the right to self-defense. Everyone who tries to aid the criminals should understand that they will be responsible for giving them shelter.”

Putin intends not only to continue the strikes in Syria, but to intensify military operations.

“We will search for them everywhere, no matter where they are hiding,” Putin said, according to The Washington Post. “We will find them at any point on the planet and punish them.”

Russia is offering $50 million to anyone who can provide information which leads to the capture of those responsible for the bombing.

Egyptian officials, on the other hand, have tried hard to avoid terrorism as the cause of the plane’s downing, even going so far as to say that theories positing terrorism are a conspiracy against their country. Experts call Cairo’s messaging an attempt to shore up support for the tourism industry, which contributes a sizeable amount to the domestic economy. (RELATED: Egyptian President Gives Surprisingly Honest Answer In Bizarre Boast Against ISIS)

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