Egypt said Monday it still has no evidence to back up Moscow’s analysis that a “terrorist” attack had downed a Russian passenger plane at the end of October in the Sinai.
The Daesh group said it smuggled a bomb on board that blew up the Russian jet on Oct. 31, killing all 224 people on board.
On Nov. 17, Moscow said an investigation had found that the plane which took off from the Sinai resort of Sharm el-Sheikh was brought down by a bomb on board, a view shared by aviation experts.
“The technical committee has not received to date any indication of the presence of illicit meddling or a terrorist action,” said Ayman El-Mokkadem, the Egyptian head of a probe into the crash.
“The committee continues its work concerning the technical investigation,” he said in a statement released by the Civil Aviation Ministry. “I can only recall the conclusion of our experts and our special services that indicates it was really a terrorist act,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said, reacting to Mokkadem’s remarks.
On Nov. 17, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin announced that Russian investigators had found evidence of a bomb on board, and vowed to punish the attackers.
“We will search for them anywhere they might hide. We will find them in any part of the world and punish them,” he said.
The same day, Russian security chief Alexander Bortnikov said the passenger jet was brought down by a bomb with a force equivalent to one kilogram (two pounds) of TNT.
“We can say unequivocally that this was a terrorist attack,” he said.
“Investigation carried out on all objects (personal belongings of passengers, baggage and parts of the aircraft) showed traces of foreign-made explosives,” Bortnikov said at the time.