The Islamic State has expanded on a claim of responsibility for the downing of a Russian passenger plane over Egypt in October.
As part of a new issue of its English-language propaganda magazine, the terrorist group also known as ISIS says it brought down the plane with an improvised explosive device, or IED.
A photo showing what was described as the IED displayed a can of Schweppes Gold and what appeared to be a detonator amid a blue background.
The magazine, Dabiq, also included a photo of plane debris with images of passports superimposed on top. ISIS says the passports belonged to the “dead crusaders.”
In an overview of ISIS’ “military operations” in the magazine, the group said the attack on the Russian airliner was “to show the Russians and whoever allies with them that they will have no safety in the lands and airspace of the Muslims, that their daily killing of dozens in Shām [Syria] through their airstrikes will only bring them calamities, and that just as they kill, they will be killed.”
ISIS had originally planned on blowing up a plane from another country in the US-led anti-ISIS coalition, but switched the plan to blowing up a Russian plane after that country began airstrikes in Syria, an article in the magazine said.
An ISIS affiliate claimed responsibility for downing the plane shortly after the crash, but the group’s central leadership remained mostly silent and didn’t provide details on how it carried out the attack.
The Metrojet plane crashed about 20 minutes after takeoff from Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh airport. All 224 people onboard were killed.
Russian officials said this week that a homemade explosive device brought down the plane.
ISIS says the attack was retaliation for Russian airstrikes in Syria, where ISIS controls territory.
Two airport employees have reportedly been detained for questioning in connection with the attacks, according to Reuters. An unnamed airport security official told Reuters that the two employees are suspected of helping whoever planed the bomb on the plane.
CCTV footage reportedly “showed a baggage handler carrying a suitcase from an airport building to another man, who was loading luggage onto the doomed airliner from beneath the plane on the runway,” according to Reuters.
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