ISIS Airline Bombing Is 'Russia's 9/11,' US Homeland Security Committee Says

Russian airline crash
People gather at Dvortsovaya Square to commemorate victims of the air crash in Egypt in St. Petersburg, Russia, November 3, 2015. Egypt's civil aviation ministry said on Tuesday there were no facts to substantiate assertions by Russian officials that the Russian airliner that crashed in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on Saturday broke up in mid-air. |
Russian airline crash
People attend the funeral of Timur Miller, a resident of Ulyanovsk and one of the victims of the plane crash in Egypt who died at the age of 33, at a cemetery in St. Petersburg, Russia, November 6, 2015. With world powers divided over the cause of a Russian jetliner crash, much rests on forensic teams as they scour a sandy trail of wreckage almost a week after 224 people died in Egypt's worst air disaster. |
Russian airline crash
People attend a religious service commemorating victims of a Russian airliner which crashed in Egypt, at St. Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Russia November 8, 2015. An Airbus A321, operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia under the brand name Metrojet, crashed on October 31 shortly after taking off from the Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Sheikh on its way to St. Petersburg, killing all 224 people on board. |
Russian airline crash
The remains of a Russian airliner are seen as military investigators inspect the crash site in al-Hasanah area in El Arish city, north Egypt, November 1, 2015. Rescue teams scoured the area where the Airbus A321 came down on Saturday, collecting into a pile the dead holidaymakers' belongings that were spread around the main part of the wreckage. At least 163 of the bodies have already been recovered from the jet. |
Russian airline crash
A military investigator from Russia stands near the debris of a Russian airliner at its crash site at the Hassana area in Arish city, north Egypt, November 1, 2015. Russia has grounded Airbus A321 jets flown by the Kogalymavia airline, Interfax news agency reported on Sunday, after one of its fleet crashed in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board. |
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The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee has said that the bombing of a Russian airliner by the Islamic State terror group last week can be seen as Russia's 9/11, referencing the terror attacks on the U.S. that prompted the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"All indicators are pointing to the fact that it was ISIS putting a bomb on an airplane," Texas GOP Rep. Mike McCaul said on "Fox News Sunday."

"I have a high degree of confidence. It's been my gut (feeling) all along. … This is comparable to 9/11 for" Russia, he added.

CNN reported that several U.S. intelligence, military and national security officials have all confirmed with near certainty that terrorists are behind the downing of Kogalymavia/Metrojet Flight 9268, which was headed for St. Petersburg when it broke-up mid air over the Sinai peninsula in Egypt, killing all 224 passengers and crew.

British and U.S. intercepts of communications after the crash determined that an IS affiliate in Egypt claimed responsibility for the attack, though the terror group has not explained how it managed to get a bomb on board the plane.

European investigators assessing the flight data recorder have also ruled out that the crash was an accident.

Russia joined airstrike operations against IS across Syria in October, and is conducting its own investigation into the crash.

McCaul noted that the latest developments illustrate how much of a "huge threat" IS really is, and blamed the Russian plane crash in part on failed U.S. policy in the region.

"When you project weakness throughout the world and you have a failed foreign policy, this is what you get," McCaul told Fox.

"And now we have chaos in the Middle East, have ISIS taking over Iraq, Syria, Northern Africa, Egypt. Now we have the Russians in there; it has presented a very complicated strategy moving forward in terms of protecting the American people."

The Obama administration has also been heavily criticized by GOP Republican candidates, such as Mike Huckabee, who said it is "sick and infuriating" that IS might be responsible for the plane bombing.

"What will it take for President Obama to wake-up and realize radical Islam is at war with the civilized world? 'Hope' is not a national security strategy, and it's time for this idealistic, incompetent White House to grow a spine and some basic sense. You don't negotiate with cancer, you kill it before it kills you first," Huckabee said.

Obama has admitted it is "likely" that IS, which has captured large territory across Iraq and Syria but has affiliate groups in a number of other countries, is behind the plane crash.

"Whenever you've got a plane crash, first of all you've got the tragedy, you've got making sure there's an investigation on site. I think there is a possibility that there was a bomb on board. And we are taking that very seriously," Obama told CBS affiliate KIRO Radio last week.

"We're going to spend a lot of time making sure our own investigators and our own intelligence community figures out exactly what's going on before we make any definitive pronouncements. But it is certainly possible that there was a bomb on board," he added.

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