PUTIN: 'We will find them anywhere on the planet and punish them'
MOSCOW – President Vladimir Putin vowed to hunt down those responsible for blowing up a Russian airliner over Egypt and intensify air strikes against Islamists in Syria, after the Kremlin concluded a bomb had destroyed the plane last month, killing 224 people.
“We will find them anywhere on the planet and punish them,” Putin said at a somber Kremlin meeting broadcast on Tuesday. The FSB security service swiftly announced a $50 million bounty on the bombers.
But four days after Islamist gunmen and bombers killed at least 129 people in Paris, Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the FSB, told a late night meeting that traces of foreign-made explosive had been found on fragments of the downed plane and on passengers’ personal belongings.
“According to an analysis by our specialists, a homemade bomb containing up to 1 kilogram of TNT detonated during the flight, causing the plane to break up in mid air, which explains why parts of the fuselage were spread over such a large distance,” said Bortnikov at the meeting in footage released by the Kremlin.
“We can unequivocally say it was a terrorist act,” he said.