Further fuelling speculation that the crashed Russian airliner in Egypt was shot down, Islamic State released a video purporting to show the moment the Airbus A321 plummeted through the sky before hitting the ground. The footage which cannot be verified shows a large structure resembling a plane falling through the air, before splitting in two.

However, satellite imagery does not back up their claims that a missile brought down a Russian airliner over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula according to US officials. A heat flash detected by infrared satellites at the time and place of the explosion suggests the plane was destroyed internally by a bomb or a fuel tank explosion.

Several experts now believe that a small bomb or fuel tank explosion appear to be the most likely cause of the crash, casting heavy doubt on Islamic State claims.


The Airbus A321 had just left the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, bound for the Russian city of St Petersburg. Wreckage of the aircraft has been found in the Hassana area. It disappeared from radar screens when travelling at 9,500m (31,000ft), Egyptian officials said.

The Airbus A321 is a short to medium range, narrow-body, commercial passenger twin-engine airliner manufactured by Airbus.

A statement from Egypt’s Ministry of Civil Aviation said search and rescue teams found the wreckage of the Russian passenger jet in the Hassana area where Egyptian security forces are fighting a burgeoning Islamic militant insurgency.

The aircraft was operated by the small Russian airline Kogalymavia, based in western Siberia. Russian authorities say it was carrying 217 passengers, 17 of them children, and seven crew. Most were Russian tourists.

Northern Sinai is home to groups of Islamist militants, many affiliated to Islamic State, but it is now being claimed that there are no indications the plane was shot down.


George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Howie Elliott
6 years ago

more likely a bomb on board as too high for most missiles they would have…..

Phil Taylor
6 years ago

Bomb, maybe…. shot down? Unlikely…

John Francis
6 years ago

Obviously ..

James Gale
6 years ago

Unlikely as they don’t have MANPADS that can reach 30k feet

Chris Harding
6 years ago

None of the MANPADS IS or MB affiliated groups could have theasably gotten their filthly mitts on can reach 30,000 feet. >the SA-24 Igla can reach around 20k feet but even then there’s that additional 10k they need to surpass. further more, how they got it from Syria (only place IS is suspected of having SA-24s) though several boarders none of whom friendly is also in question. >MANPADS stolen from the Egyptian army are not as advanced as the SA-24, they use older variants and their own homebrew missile that has less range than the launcher it was copied off… Read more »

Sam Lee
6 years ago

My guess would me some kind of internal explosion, with most surface to air missiles you get a “peppering” effect on the fuselage as the warhead fragments-something which I have yet to see on the footage. Could have been a kinetic “kill” though.