August 27, 2004

Russia finds proof of terrorist explosive in plane crash

Russian investigators have found traces of explosives in at least one of the two plane crashes there this week. The FSB says this prooves that at least one of the crashes was a "terrorist act."

Details of the discovery came after an Islamic group claimed responsibility for the crashes in a website statement.

Investigators are still working to decode the flight data recorders from the crashes, which left 89 people dead.

Russian aviation officials have confirmed that one of the planes, a Sibir Airlines Tu-154, sent out a hijack alert just before it crashed, Russian media report.

The FSB says the traces of explosive were found amid the debris of the Tu-154, which was flying to the Black Sea resort of Sochi when it disappeared from radar shortly after the pilot pressed the SOS button.

The same explosive, hexogen, was apparently used in a series of apartment bombings in 1999 that killed around 200 people.

In a website statement on Friday, a group called the Islamic Brigades said it had five people on board each aircraft. It warned this act would be followed by others "until the killings of our Muslim brothers in Chechnya cease".

As they focus closer on the passengers of the flights, on at least one flight, a female passenger did come from the region of Chechnya, home of a large number of terroristic rebels.

Chechnya has elections scheduled for next week. Terroristic acts designed to change the public's opinion of local elections has worked previously, earlier this year in Spain.

The vast majority appear to have been ethnic Russians while there has been some speculation that a woman passenger aboard the Tu-154 may have been a Chechen.

"We have no information that she was a terrorist," said Mr Levitin, adding that investigators wanted to know why no one had come to claim her body.

(More coverage at Backcountry Conservative, Instapundit and others)

Posted by mhking at August 27, 2004 07:11 AM

what to say when everytime i look at the news of the enemy they are carrying russian made weapons,are the weapon old or new? also i here in sudan the russians are selling the government jet fighters, what to think?

Posted by: dex at August 27, 2004 10:46 AM
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