Investigators of the terrible plane crash in Egypt are practivally sure that it was bomb that downed the Russian passanger jet.
Sources familiar with the investigation told reporters in an exclusive interview thatÂ the noise heard in the final second of a cockpit recording was an explosion caused by a bomb.
This point of view is also shared byÂ by several senior U.S. officials in the intelligence, military and national security community who spoketo journalists.
One official said it was “99.9% certain,” another said it was “likely.”
The AirbusÂ A321 crashed downÂ 23 minutes after taking off from the Sharm al-Sheikh on October 31, killing all passengers and crew. Islamic State militants fighting Egyptian security forces in Sinai said they’re responsible for that.
“The indications and analysis so far of the sound on the black box indicate it was a bomb,” said the Egyptian investigation team memberÂ who asked to stay anonymous. “We are 90 percent sure it was a bomb.”
The growing confidence of the “bomb” scenaruoÂ comes as Russian authorities continue to transportÂ home the remains of victims for identification.
A fourth Russian government plane carrying victims’ remains arrived atÂ St. Petersburg, where a memorial service was held at the city’s St. Isaac’s Cathedral. The cathedral’s bell was rung 224 times, in memory of each victim.
So far, the remains of 58 victims have been identified through DNA testing.
A week after the terrible crashÂ Russian experts arrived in Sharm el-Sheikh to conduct security check of the airport, and had already focused on examiningÂ pre-departure area, airport deputy director Hani Ramzy said.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said Sunday that a second and third group of Russian security experts will depart Moscow soon and they will check all major airports in Egypt.
Amid concerns over what happened to the Russian passanger jet, Russia and Britain have suspended flights to Sharm el-Sheikh and currently transfer their tourists who remain there.
“Passengers flying back to Britain or Russia are traveling without their checked luggage, which is being transferred to cargo planes immediately on check-in — a reflection of fears that the Russian plane was brought down by a bomb placed in the luggage hold,” CNN reports.
“Russia, which initially played down suggestions that the crash was caused by terrorists, is using its own cargo planes, while the UK is using Egypt Air cargo planes, according to Egypt’s Civil Aviation Ministry. Three cargo jets filled with luggage departed Sharm el-Sheikh Saturday, with a similar number anticipated Sunday, the ministry said.”
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh JohnsonÂ saidÂ that officials were taking “precautionary interim steps” to increase security on international flights into the United States during the investigation of the Egypt air disaster.
“ISIL is out there now active in a lot of different areas and, while this investigation is pending and because we have this group claiming responsibility, we believe it’s significant to do these things on an interim basis,” he said, using an alternative name for ISIS.