Soda Can Bomb Downed Russian Jet, ISIS Claims
An improvised bomb made from a can of Schweppes Gold soda and a DIY detonator downed the Russian Metrojet plane over the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt in October, killing all 224 passengers on board. The photo of the apparatus was published in the latest edition of ISIS English magazine, DABIQ.Advertisement
According to the article in the magazine, which was first reported by Reuters, ISIS had first planned of downing an American passenger plane or any of the civilian planes flying to and from the countries participating in the U.S-led coalition conducting airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. However, plans changed when Russia began its onslaught against the ISIS in the last week of September.
“The divided Crusaders of the East and West thought themselves safe in their jets as they cowardly bombarded the Muslims of the Caliphate and so revenge was exacted upon those who felt safe in the cockpits,” the article reads. The bomb was allegedly smuggled onto the airport “to show the Russians and whoever allies with them that they will have no safety in the lands and airspace of the Muslims. That their daily killings of dozens in Syria through the airstrikes will only bring them calamities,” the article stated.
The soda can bomb may have manually detonated by one of the people aboard the plane, an unnamed retired Army special operations soldier told ABC news. This theory was opposed by Kevin Barry, an explosives expert and former member of the NYPD bomb squad, saying that the soda can bomb may have been detonated with a timer. A U.S. official familiar with the investigation seconded this, telling ABC news that the consensus among the intelligence “is that it was timer that was set for two hours. That would guarantee that the plane was going to be in the sky.” The official went on saying that the published photo in DABIQ magazine may be fake. “If I just pulled off a successful bombing, I would give you disinformation. Why would you tell everyone how you did it?” the official said.
The Schweppes Gold soda appears to be similar to a “suicide-type bomb,” Anthony May, retired explosives enforcement officer with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, told CNN. He noted the hole in the bottom of the can which exposes a white substance inside that appears to be explosive. The separate detonator in the picture would be placed through that hole at the bottom and whoever detonated that bomb would have flipped the single-throw rocker switch.
May said the bomb looked very simple but once taken aboard planes it becomes lethal. “It doesn’t take much to bring down a plane in flight if it’s placed in the most critical area of the aircraft, breaking the fuselage,” May explained.
May was not sure how the homemade bomb passed security checks at the airport. He said the can was metal and “any typical security protocol should detect this via the metal detectors or via the x-rays.” He, however, noted that whoever got around security can carry the components separately and assemble them past security checks. For this to be possible, there might be an airport insider who retrieved these items.