|Security expert Shoebridge on RT|
October 31, 2015
Translated from French by Tom Winter
Original title: “Daesh has claimed responsibility for the attack on the Russian aircraft for propaganda”
The Islamic State lacks the capacity to shoot down a plane, security expert Charles Shoebridge told RT. According to him, the terrorists claimed responsibility for the attack for the sake of their propaganda, as if they could “punish” Russia for its operations in Syria.
RT: Daesh claims to have shot down the Russian aircraft with a missile, but do they really have the capacity?
Charles Shoebridge (CS): We know that the Islamic state does not have the capacity to shoot down an aircraft flying at the altitude at which the aircraft was flying, approximately 10,000 meters. This is the same cruise height as the MH17 flight of Malaysia Airlines overflying Ukraine.
It has been correctly announced that the flight was out of reach of any missiles which rebels have in Syria. In theory, they could bring down the plane by an act of sabotage committed at the departure airport, for example, with a bomb on board. But it seems very clear from the information on the ground, and from indications of witnesses,
that this scenario is very unlikely. For now, the most likely cause is a technical failure.
RT: Why would the terrorists claim this disaster?
CS: This matches their method of operation, not only for the Islamic state, but for all terrorist groups in the world. There are also sites and communication channels known to belong to terrorist groups. Anyone, via the Internet and social networks, can make a statement on behalf of the group.
But there are reasons for this official declaration. This claim of Daesh can be seen as a punishment, — that’s how they want to present it — for Russia’s effective engagement against the Islamic state in Syria in recent weeks.
RT: Air France and Lufthansa said they will no longer fly over the Sinai Peninsula. Do you think that’s an overreaction?
CS: I don’t think it would have been put forward if there had not been the precedent of the MH17. If you remember, Ukraine had not closed its airspace despite the armed conflict in the east. Moreover, it is understandable that given the media buzz after this disaster involving a Russian aircraft, some airlines will adopt a cautious approach and decide to change their flight plans, not because of possible future legal consequences, but above all to reassure their passengers.