Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
1st February, 2016
The investigative Committee of Russia has opened a criminal case on the terrorist act that occurred onboard the aircraft A321 “Kogalymavia”, which killed 224 people. According to a Kommersant source in the security services, the traces of the organizers of this terrorist attack leads to a Turkish radical nationalist organization – “Grey wolves” – associated with the banned Islamic State.
The criminal case of the crash on 31st October 2015, involving the plane over the Sinai Peninsula, is now under investigation by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation as an act of terrorism (article 205 of the criminal code) and illegal acquisition, transfer, sale, storage, transportation or carrying of explosives or explosive devices committed by an organized group (part 3, article 222.1), said the Deputy head of the National antiterrorism Committee (NAC) Yevgeny Ilyin. According to him, the investigation reclassified the case on these articles with violations of the rules of operation of air transport and the provision of services that do not meet the requirements of safety, entailed on imprudence death of two and more persons (article 263 and article 238 of the criminal code) for which it was originally conducted. The Committee has refrained from officially commenting, but has informally explained that article 205-I has been present for some time, but it was not made public for strategic reasons.
The version of the accident pertaining to terrorism was made in the middle of November last year, when the Director of the FSB, Alexander Bortnikov, reported to President Vladimir Putin that the experts found “traces of explosives of foreign production” on the personal belongings of passengers, luggage and the wreckage of the plane that crashed in Egypt. Later, according to “Kommersant”, it was determined that the epicenter of the explosion was on the starboard side at the end of the cabin where the tail frame starts. The bomb was allegedly placed under the passenger seat by the window. The explosion led to the destruction of the frame and depressurization of the cabin, which had an explosive character.
The plane, which first separated at the tail, broke up in the air (its wreckage was found near the length of 13 km and a width of about 5 km), and the people who were onboard, were killed almost instantly from the sudden pressure drop.
Responsibility for the attack was claimed by the banned in Russia “Islamic State”, who published a photo of a homemade bomb: Aluminum in the can of Schweppes 0.33l with 250-300 grams of plastic explosives. According to sources, most likely, it was C-4 (C-4), developed in the US in the mid 60’s of the last century, and is now produced in many countries of the world.
It is assumed that the bomb in the plane was carried by someone of the staff of airport Sharm El-Sheikh and activated by an electronic timer. This person could be, for example, the cleaner or one of the workers carrying food onboard. This week, various media outlets, including foreign ones, reported the identification of participants in the attack and even the detention of one of them. It was alleged that a bomb in the airliner could have been planted by a technician from Egyptian EgyptAir, who immediately after the attack disappeared. However, later the Egyptian authorities and representatives of the company dismissed this information.
“It’s one of those situations where the information in the media is not confirmed by the structures that organize the fight against terrorism,” said Mr. Ilyin.
Meanwhile, in late December 2015, Mr Bortnikov said that his agency had an idea of what terrorist groups were behind the plane explosion, but he did not name them. In turn, a Kommersant’s source said: the FSB believes that the explosion of the Russian airliner can be linked to the members of the Turkish radical nationalist organization “Grey wolves”, who are associated with the “Islamic state” and acting in many other Arab countries, including Egypt.
In Turkey, the “wolves” appeared in the late 60’s of the last century. The Creator of the organization is considered the head of the far-right Republican peasants ‘ national party, who converted in 1969 to the nationalist movement Party, Alparslan Turkes.
On account of the “wolves” — the shooting on the May day demonstration in Istanbul’s Taksim square in 1977, when 42 people died; the massacre in Marash in 1978, where, across the space of a week, about a hundred Alawites were killed; the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II on 13th May 1981, and other big projects. At one time the organization was prohibited, however, from the 90’s of the last century, they resumed their activities in Turkey.
The “wolves”, according to Russian intelligence services, participated in the fighting in Chechnya, organizing the transfer of weapons to the rebel Republic. And one of the leaders of the “Grey wolves”, a 32-year-old Alparslan Çelik, took responsibility for the shooting in Syria, on 24th November last year, of the parachuting Russian pilot of the downed Russian aircraft Su-24.