President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron both believe a bomb may have downed a Russian plane in Egypt.
Video provided by AFP

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said Tuesday that a Russian passenger plane that crashed in Egypt last month killing all 224 aboard was blown up by a homemade explosive device.

Alexander Bortnikov, the FSB’s chief, told Russian state media that “traces of foreign explosives” were found in debris recovered from the crash site.

“FSB and law enforcement agencies of the Russian Federation are taking measures to detect the people involved in the crime,” he said, according to the TASS news agency.

Interfax also reported the news. It comes as Russia has stepped up its airstrikes in Syria in support of President Bashar Assad, whose regime is fighting Islamic State militants but also other rebel groups in the region.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said the “murder of our nationals in Sinai is among the bloodiest crimes” and vowed to find and punish the perpetrators.

“We will look for them everywhere, wherever they are hiding. We will find them in any point of the globe,” he said. He asked for international assistance in tracking down and punishing those responsible.

Russian and Egyptian media reported that two employees at Sharm el-Sheikh airport were detained on suspicion of helping whoever planted the bomb, and another 15 people are being held in connection with the incident, citing security officials.

Russia has offered a $50 million reward for information that helps lead to detaining anyone involved in the plot to blow up the plane. The Islamic State, also known as ISIL or ISIS, claimed responsibility and said the attack was in retaliation to Russia’s airstrikes in Syria. The claim has not been independently verified.

The A321 passenger jet operated by Russia’s Kogalymavia, also known as Metrojet, was traveling from Egypt’s Red Sea resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg when it crashed in a remote area of the Sinai peninsula on Oct. 31.

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