President Barack Obama said Thursday it’s possible a terrorist bomb brought down a Russian passenger plane over the Sinai Peninsula.
“I think there’s a possibility that there was a bomb on board,” Obama said in an interview with Dave Ross of CBS News affiliate KIRO in Seattle.
He said the current intelligence isn’t definitive enough to say exactly what felled the aircraft and noted that security procedures in place in the region were different than in the United States.
“We’re going to spend a lot of time just making sure our own investigators and own intelligence community find out what’s going on before we make any definitive pronouncements,” he said. “But it’s certainly possible that there was a bomb on board.”
Obama’s comments come one day after U.S. officials said intelligence suggests that ISIS or its affiliates planted a bomb on the Russian plane, which broke apart in midair last weekend, killing all 224 people on board. The flight was heading from Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, to St. Petersburg, Russia.
A U.S. official told CNN that the “specificity” in the chatter surrounding the crash of the Russian jet drew the attention of the U.S. intelligence community. The official said “the specific nature of the discussion” that officials monitored made them take notice.
Earlier Thursday, British Prime Minister David Cameron said it is “more likely than not” that a bomb brought down Metrojet Flight 9268. But Russian and Egyptian officials have warned against jumping to conclusions. Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Hossam Kamel said officials have found no evidence to support the theory that a bomb caused the plane crash.