DHS Official: I Was ordered to purge records of Islamic terror ties

A veteran official with the Department of Homeland Security claims he and other staff were ordered to destroy records on a federal database that showed links between possible jihadists and Islamic terrorist groups.

“After leaving my 15-year career at DHS, I can no longer be silent about the dangerous state of America’s counter-terror strategy, our leaders’ willingness to compromise the security of citizens for the ideological rigidity of political correctness—and, consequently, our vulnerability to devastating, mass-casualty attack,” the former employee, Patrick Haney, wrote in an explosive column that was published late Friday on The Hill website.

Haney alleges that the Obama administration has been “engaged in a bureaucratic effort” to destroy the raw material and intelligence the Department of Homeland Security has been collecting for years, leaving the United States open to mass-casualty attacks.

His story starts in 2009, when during the holiday travel season, a 23-year-old Nigerian Muslim,  Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, boarded Northwest Airlines Flight 253, with explosives packed in his underwear and the hopes of slaughtering 290 travelers flying on Christmas Day from the Netherlands to Detroit, Michigan. Passengers subdued the jihadist and he was arrested, thwarting the plot.

After the attempt, Haney writes, President Barack Obamathrew the intelligence community under the bus for its failure to ‘connect the dots,’ saying that it was not a failure to collect the intelligence that could have stopped the attack, but rather “‘a failure to integrate and understand the intelligence that we already had.‘”

But most Americans were not aware that the Department of Homeland Security’s employees suffered enormous damage to their morale from Obama’s words, Haney said.

Further, many were infuriated “because we knew his administration had been engaged in a bureaucratic effort to destroy the raw material — the actual intelligence we had collected for years, and erase those dots. The dots constitute the intelligence needed to keep Americans safe, and the Obama administration was ordering they be wiped away.”

 Just one month before the attempted attack, Haney said, his DHS supervisors ordered him to either delete or modify the records for several hundred people tied to Islamist terror organizations, including Hamas, from the Treasury Enforcement Communications System, the federal database.

Those records give DHS the ability to “connect dots,” explained Haney, and every day, the agency’s Custom and Border Protection officials use the database while watching people who are associated with known terrorist affiliations seeking patterns that could indicate a pending attack.

“Enforcing a political scrubbing of records of Muslims greatly affected our ability to do that,” said Haney.

“Even worse, going forward, my colleagues and I were prohibited from entering pertinent information into the database,” he wrote.

And even weeks after the attempted Christmas Day attack, Haney said, he was still being ordered to delete and scrub terrorists’ records, making it more difficult to connect dots in the future.

The number of attempted and successful Islamic terrorist attacks kept increasing, notes Haney, including the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, conducted by Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev; Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez’ shooting of two military installations in Chattanooga, Tennessee last year; the attack conducted by Faisal Shahzad in May 2010; Detroit “honor” killer Rahim Alfatlawi in 2011; Amine El Khalifi, who plotted to blow up the U.S. Capitol in 2012; and Oklahoma beheading suspect Alton Nolen in 2014.

 He believes it is “very plausible” that one or more of those homeland incidents could have been prevented, if DHS subject matter experts had been allowed to keep doing their jobs.

“It is demoralizing — and infuriating — that today, those elusive dots are even harder to find, and harder to connect, than they were during the winter of 2009,” Haney concluded.

By Sandy Fitzgerald
Source: DHS News

Terrorists supported by America: U.S. Helicopter Delivering Weapons to the Islamic State (ISIS), shot down by Iraqi “Popular Forces”

The Iraqi popular forces who shot down a US helicopter carrying weapons for the ISIL forces in Al-Baqdadi region released the photos of the shot down chopper through the Internet.

A group of Iraqi popular forces known as Al-Hashad Al-Shabi shot down the US Army helicopter that was carrying weapons for the ISIL in the western parts of Al-Baqdadi region in Al-Anbar province on Thursday.

Last week, Head of the Iraqi Parliament’s National Security and Defense Committee Hakem al-Zameli announced that the helicopters of the US-led anti-ISIL coalition were dropping weapons and foodstuff for the ISIL terrorists in the Southern parts of Tikrit.

He underscored that he had documents and photos showing that the US Apache helicopters airdropped foodstuff and weapons for the ISIL.

On Friday the Iraqi security forces regained control of al-Baghdadi district from the ISIL terrorists.

Iraqi security forces seized control of al-Shohadaa neighborhood and 13 Daesh (ISIL) militants were killed in the clashes,” Lt. Saoud al-Ibeidi said.

Iraqi forces on February 18 managed to end ISIL’s 10-day siege of al-Baghdadi district’s residential area and killed about 150 terrorists, according to police sources.

Last Monday, a senior lawmaker disclosed that Iraq’s army had shot down two British planes as they were carrying weapons for the ISIL terrorists in Al-Anbar province.

“The Iraqi Parliament’s National Security and Defense Committee has access to the photos of both planes that are British and have crashed while they were carrying weapons for the ISIL,” al-Zameli said, according to a Monday report of the Arabic-language information center of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq.

He said the Iraqi parliament has asked London for explanations in this regard.

The senior Iraqi legislator further unveiled that the government in Baghdad is receiving daily reports from people and security forces in al-Anbar province on numerous flights by the US-led coalition planes that airdrop weapons and supplies for ISIL in terrorist-held areas.

The Iraqi lawmaker further noted the cause of such western aids to the terrorist group, and explained that the US prefers a chaotic situation in Anbar Province which is near the cities of Karbala and Baghdad as it does not want the ISIL crisis to come to an end.

Earlier today, a senior Iraqi provincial official lashed out at the western countries and their regional allies for supporting Takfiri terrorists in Iraq, revealing that US and Israeli-made weapons have been discovered from the areas purged of ISIL terrorists.

We have discovered weapons made in the US, European countries and Israel from the areas liberated from ISIL’s control in Al-Baqdadi region,” the Al-Ahad news website quoted Head of Al-Anbar Provincial Council Khalaf Tarmouz as saying.

He noted that the weapons made by the European countries and Israel were discovered from the terrorists in the Eastern parts of the city of Ramadi.

Al-Zameli had also disclosed in January that the anti-ISIL coalition’s planes have dropped weapons and foodstuff for the ISIL in Salahuddin, Al-Anbar and Diyala provinces.

Al-Zameli underlined that the coalition is the main cause of ISIL’s survival in Iraq.

“There are proofs and evidence for the US-led coalition’s military aid to ISIL terrorists through air(dropped cargoes),” he told FNA in January.

He noted that the members of his committee have already proved that the US planes have dropped advanced weaponry, including anti-aircraft weapons, for the ISIL, and that it has set up an investigation committee to probe into the matter.

“The US drops weapons for the ISIL on the excuse of not knowing about the whereabouts of the ISIL positions and it is trying to distort the reality with its allegations.

He noted that the committee had collected the data and the evidence provided by eyewitnesses, including Iraqi army officers and the popular forces, and said, “These documents are given to the investigation committee … and the necessary measures will be taken to protect the Iraqi airspace.

Also in January, another senior Iraqi legislator reiterated that the US-led coalition is the main cause of ISIL’s survival in Iraq.

The international coalition is only an excuse for protecting the ISIL and helping the terrorist group with equipment and weapons,” Jome Divan, who is member of the al-Sadr bloc in the Iraqi parliament, said.

He said the coalition’s support for the ISIL is now evident to everyone, and continued, “The coalition has not targeted ISIL’s main positions in Iraq.”

In late December, Iraqi Parliamentary Security and Defense Commission MP disclosed that a US plane supplied the ISIL terrorist organization with arms and ammunition in Salahuddin province.

MP Majid al-Gharawi stated that the available information pointed out that US planes are supplying ISIL organization, not only in Salahuddin province, but also other provinces, Iraq TradeLink reported.

He added that the US and the international coalition are “not serious in fighting against the ISIL organization, because they have the technological power to determine the presence of ISIL gunmen and destroy them in one month”.

Gharawi added that “the US is trying to expand the time of the war against the ISIL to get guarantees from the Iraqi government to have its bases in Mosul and Anbar provinces.”

Salahuddin security commission also disclosed that “unknown planes threw arms and ammunition to the ISIL gunmen Southeast of Tikrit city”.

Also in Late December, a senior Iraqi lawmaker raised doubts about the seriousness of the anti-ISIL coalition led by the US, and said that the terrorist group still received aids dropped by unidentified aircraft.

The international coalition is not serious about air strikes on ISIL terrorists and is even seeking to take out the popular (voluntary) forces from the battlefield against the Takfiris so that the problem with ISIL remains unsolved in the near future,” Nahlah al-Hababi told FNA.

Read more in Source: Global Search

After Paris attacks, here’s what the CIA director gets wrong about encryption

It’s not surprising that in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks last Friday, US government officials would renew their assault on encryption and revive their efforts to force companies to install backdoors in secure products and encryption software.

Just last month, the government seemed to concede that forced decryption wasn’t the way to go for now, primarily because the public wasn’t convinced yet that encryption is a problem. But US officials had also noted that something could happen to suddenly sway the public in their favor.
Robert S. Litt, general counsel in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, predicted as much in an email sent to colleagues three months ago. In that missive obtained by the Washington Post, Litt argued that although “the legislative environment [for passing a law that forces decryption and backdoors] is very hostile today, it could turn in the event of a terrorist attack or criminal event where strong encryption can be shown to have hindered law enforcement.”

In the story about that email, another US official explained to the Post that the government had not yet succeeded in persuading the public that encryption is a problem because “[w]e do not have the perfect example where you have the dead child or a terrorist act to point to, and that’s what people seem to claim you have to have.”

With more than 120 people killed last week in Paris and dozens more seriously wounded, government officials are already touting the City of
Light as that case. Former CIA deputy director Michael Morell said as much on CBS This Morning, suggesting that recalcitrant US companies and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden are to blame for the attacks.
We don’t know yet, but I think what we’re going to learn is that [the attackers] used these encrypted apps, right?,” he said on the show Monday morning. “Commercial encryption, which is very difficult, if not impossible, for governments to break. The producers of this encryption do not produce the key, right, for either them to open this stuff up or for them to give to governments to open this stuff up. This is the result of Edward Snowden and the public debate. I now think we’re going to have another public debate about encryption, and whether government should have the keys, and I think the result may be different this time as a result of what’s happened in Paris.

CIA Director John Brennan said something similar at a security forum this morning (.pdf).
There are a lot of technological capabilities that are available right now that make it exceptionally difficult, both technically as well as legally, for intelligence and security services to have the insight they need to uncover it,” he said. “And I do think this is a time for particularly Europe, as well as here in the United States, for us to take a look and see whether or not there have been some inadvertent or intentional gaps that have been created in the ability of intelligence and security services to protect the people that they are asked to serve…. And I do hope that this is going to be a wake-up call.
No solid information has come out publicly yet about what communication methods the attackers used to plot their assault, let alone whether they used encryption.

On Sunday, the New York Times published a story stating that the Paris attackers “are believed to have communicated [with ISIS] using encryption technology.” The paper’s sources were unnamed European officials briefed on the investigation. It was not clear, the paper noted, “whether the encryption was part of widely used communications tools, like WhatsApp, which the authorities have a hard time monitoring, or something more elaborate.”
Twitter users harshly criticized the Times story, and it has since disappeared from the site (though it is archived) and the URL now points to a different story, with no mention of encryption.
A Yahoo news story on Saturday added to the theme, declaring that the Paris attacks show that US surveillance of ISIS is going dark. “Over the past year, current and former intelligence officials tell Yahoo News, IS terror suspects have moved to increasingly sophisticated methods of encrypted communications, using new software such as Tor, that intelligence agencies are having difficulty penetrating—a switch that some officials say was accelerated by the disclosures of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.”

Numerous other news stories have suggested that attackers like the ones who struck Paris may be using a video game network. According to the Daily Mail and others, authorities in Belgium, where some of the attackers were based, have found evidence that jihadis there have been using the PlayStation 4 network to recruit and plan attacks. A source told the paper that they are using it because “Playstation 4 is even more difficult to monitor than WhatsApp.” The sources didn’t indicate if they were speaking specifically about the Paris attackers or about other jihadis in that country. But the fallacy of these statements has already been pointed out in other stories, which note that communication passing through the PlayStation network is not encrypted end-to-end, and Sony can certainly monitor communications passing through its network, making it even less secure than WhatsApp.

US law enforcement and intelligence agencies have been warning for years that their inability to decrypt communication passing between phones and computers—even when they have a warrant or other legal authority to access the communication—has left them in the dark about what terrorists are planning.
But there are several holes in the argument that forcing backdoors on companies will make us all more secure. While doing this would no doubt make things easier for the intelligence and law enforcement communities, it would come at a grave societal cost—and a different security cost—and still fail to solve some of the problems intelligence agencies say they have with surveillance.

1. Backdoors Won’t Combat Home-Brewed Encryption.
Forcing US companies and makers of encryption software to install backdoors and hand over encryption keys to the government would not solve the problem of terrorist suspects using products that are made in countries not controlled by US laws.
There’s no way of preventing a terrorist from installing a Russian [encryption] app or a Brasilian app,” notes Nate Cardozo, staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “The US or UK government could mandate [backdoors], but Open Whisper Systems is not going to put in a backdoor in their product period and neither is PGP. So as soon as a terrorist is sophisticated enough to know how to install that, any backdoor is going to be defeated.

Such backdoors also will be useless if terrorist suspects create their own encryption apps. According to the security firm Recorded Future, after the Snowden leaks, its analysts “observed an increased pace of innovation, specifically new competing jihadist platforms and three major new encryption tools from three different organizations—GIMF, Al-Fajr Technical Committee, and ISIS.” Encryption backdoors and keys also don’t help when terrorists stop using digital communications entirely. A 2011 AP story indicated that al-Qaida had long ago ditched cell phones and internet-connected computers in favor of walkie talkies and couriers.

News reports about the Paris attacks have indicated that some of the perpetrators lived in the same town in Belgium—which would have made it very easy to coordinate their attack in person, without the need for digital communication.

2. Other Ways to Get Information.
The arguments for backdoors and forced decryption often fail to note the many other methods law enforcement and intelligence agencies can use to get the information they need. To bypass and undermine encryption, intelligence agencies can hack the computers and mobile phones of known targets to either obtain their private encryption keys or obtain email and text communications before they’re encrypted and after they’re decrypted on the target’s computer.

In the case of seized devices that are locked with a password or encryption key, these devices have a number of security holes that give authorities different options for gaining access, as WIRED previously reported. A story this week pointed to vulnerabilities in BitLocker that would make it fairly easy to bypass the Windows encryption tool. And the leaks of Edward Snowden show that the NSA and British intelligence agencies have a constantly evolving set of tools and methods for obtaining information from hard-to-reach systems.

We’re still living in an absolute Golden Age of surveillance,” says Cardozo. “And there is always a way of getting the data that is needed for intelligence purposes.”

3. Encryption Doesn’t Obscure Metadata.
Encryption doesn’t prevent surveillance agencies from intercepting metadata and knowing who is communicating with whom. Metadata can reveal phone numbers and IP addresses that are communicating with one another, the date and time of communication and even in some cases the location of the people communicating. Such data can be scooped up in mass quantities through signals intelligence or by tapping undersea cables. Metadata can be extremely powerful in establishing connections, identities and locating people.

“[CIA] Director Brennan gleefully told us earlier this year that they kill people based on metadata,” Cardozo says. “Metadata is enough for them to target drone strikes. And that’s pretty much the most serious thing we could possibly do with surveillance.
Some metadata is encrypted—for example, the IP addresses of people who use Tor. But recent stories have shown that this protection is not foolproof. Authorities have exploited vulnerabilities in Tor to identify and locate suspects.

Tor can make the ‘where’ a little more difficult, but doesn’t make it impossible [to locate someone],” Cardozo says. “And Tor is a lot harder [for suspects]to use than your average encrypted messaging tool.”

4. Backdoors Make Everyone Vulnerable.
As security experts have long pointed out, backdoors and encryption keys held by a service provider or law enforcement agencies don’t just make terrorists and criminals open to surveillance from Western authorities with authorization—they make everyone vulnerable to the same type of surveillance from unauthorized entities, such as everyday hackers and spy agencies from Russia, China, and other countries. This means federal lawmakers on Capitol Hill and other government workers who use commercial encryption would be vulnerable as well.

The National Security Council, in a draft paper about encryption backdoors obtained by the Post earlier this year, noted the societal tradeoffs in forcing companies to install backdoors in their products. “Overall, the benefits to privacy, civil liberties and cybersecurity gained from encryption outweigh the broader risks that would have been created by weakening encryption,” the paper stated.
If all of these aren’t reason enough to question the attacks on encryption, there is another reason. Over and over again, analysis of terrorist attacks after the fact has shown that the problem in tracking the perpetrators in advance was usually not that authorities didn’t have the technical means to identify suspects and monitor their communications. Often the problem was that they had failed to focus on the right individuals or share information in a timely manner with the proper intelligence partners.

Turkish authorities have already revealed that they had contacted French authorities twice to warn them about one of the attackers, but that French authorities never got back to them until after the massacre in Paris on Friday.
Officials in France indicated that they had thwarted at least six other attack plots in recent months, but that the sheer number of suspects makes it difficult to track everyone. French intelligence maintains a database of suspected individuals that currently has more than 11,000 names on it, but tracking individuals and analyzing data in a timely manner to uncover who poses the greatest threat is more than the security services can manage, experts there have said. It’s a familiar refrain that seems to come up after every terrorist attack.

If Snowden has taught us anything, it’s that the intel agencies are drowning in data,” Cardozo says. “They have this ‘collect it all mentality’ and that has led to a ridiculous amount of data in their possession. It’s not about having enough data; it’s a matter of not knowing what to do with the data they already have. That’s been true since before 9/11, and it’s even more true now.

Source: Wired.com

What Downed Flight 9268?


Though many mysteries still surround the recent crash of a Russian airliner over the Sinai Peninsula, some explanations of what happened are more likely to be true than others. On Oct. 31, Metrojet Flight 9268 broke into pieces shortly after reaching a cruising altitude of 9,500 meters (31,000 feet), killing all 224 passengers and crew members onboard. Stratfor, along with the rest of the world, is waiting for additional details to emerge from the aircraft’s flight data and cockpit voice recorders.

Though we cannot fully rule out the possibility of a catastrophic structural failure, such an explanation would be unusual given the circumstances of the crash. Most aircraft accidents that involve a structural failure occur amid the physical stress of takeoff and landing; it is uncommon for aircraft to break apart at cruising altitude.

It is also unlikely that jihadists in Sinai shot down the aircraft with a man-portable air defense system, or MANPAD. Although militants in the area have managed to use a MANPAD to shoot down an Egyptian helicopter and have fired missiles at Israeli aircraft, Flight 9268 would have been well out of range of these weapons. In addition, according to an initial review of the flight data recorder, the aircraft was not struck by an object from outside the plane.

Finally, the crash probably was not caused by an electrical failure. Under such circumstances, the aircraft’s pilots likely would have been able to maneuver the plane so that it glided to the ground without any sort of catastrophic consequences.

The More Likely Explanation

Given the unlikelihood of the alternative scenarios, it seems that the most probable explanation for the downed plane is the existence of an explosive device onboard.

Jihadists have long fixated on the idea of attacking passenger aircraft with bombs. Aircraft make attractive targets not only because they are fragile, which makes it possible to cause damage with a relatively small amount of explosives, but also because previous attacks against them have generated a massive amount of media attention that has magnified the amount of terror felt among the population. Chechen suicide bombers have taken down Russian aircraft before, and al Qaeda has nearly managed to do the same in several instances, such as the 2001 shoe bombing plot, the 2006 liquid bombing plot and the 2009 underwear bombing plot. 

Jihadists have also used a number of fairly sophisticated explosive devices in Egypt in recent months, so the creation and deployment of a small but effective improvised explosive device would fall within the capabilities of the al Qaeda or Islamic State groups active in the country. Flight 9268 took off from Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh airport, whose state of security is known to be particularly poor. The airport’s security agents frequently offer to accept bribes in exchange for allowing passengers to bypass security screening checkpoints, and its cargo security screenings are not nearly as stringent as those conducted in the United States or Europe. While certain airlines, especially European and Israeli carriers, often require additional security checks because of heightened threats to civilian aviation, Russian carriers typically do not follow suit by requesting additional screening procedures.

Combined with the fact that it is quite easy to smuggle explosives onto an aircraft, the airport’s lax security increases the likelihood that an explosive device detonated onboard Flight 9268. The device could have been carried by a person on the flight or loaded into the cargo hold. Stratfor will be watching carefully for any claims of responsibility that might shed more light on the perpetrators and their motives, but so far no credible claims have been made. (The Islamic State’s Wilayat Sinai released a statement asserting its responsibility for the attack, and several Islamic State supporters released a bogus video on social media, but no credible evidence to support the group’s claim has emerged.)

The reality of airline security is that with enough persistence and innovation, an attacker will inevitably get a device through any security system. And the next device might function better than the shoe and underwear bombs — two attempts in which disaster was only narrowly averted. If a bomb did indeed bring down Flight 9268, the public must maintain a realistic expectation of aviation security efforts and fight the understandable impulse to ascribe superhuman abilities to the attackers or make unrealistic demands of passenger screeners. The costs of such demands are enormous, and they will never be able to fully guarantee passengers’ security. The world is a dangerous place; there will always be people who wish to do terrible things to other human beings, and occasionally, they will succeed.

Update: According to CNN, no explosive residue has been located on the wreckage so far. The new information, if true, increases the probability that the aircraft suffered a catastrophic structural failure. However, the existence of explosive residue on other pieces of the scattered wreckage has not yet been ruled out.

Source: Stratfor.com

Satellite detected heat flash at time Russian jetliner went down

ST. Petersburg, Russia — Mystery and confusion surrounded the final moments of a Russian jetliner that plummeted suddenly from high altitude to the Egyptian desert, killing all 224 people aboard. The airline Monday ruled out pilot error or a technical fault, but Russian aviation officials dismissed those comments as premature.

CBS News’ national security correspondent David Martin reports a U.S. infrared satellite detected a heat flash over the Sinai at the time the Russian plane went down. The data is still being analyzed in an effort to determine what caused the flash. One possibility is a bomb, but an explosion in a fuel tank or engine as the result of a mechanical failure is also possible.

Some aviation experts raised the possibility that a bomb on board the Metrojet Airbus A321-200 brought it down, while others cited an incident in 2001 when the aircraft grazed the runway with its tail while landing.

James Clapper, the U.S. director of national intelligence, said that while there is no direct evidence of any terrorist involvement yet, it couldn’t be excluded that the plane was brought down by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) extremists in the Sinai Peninsula.

It’s unlikely, but I wouldn’t rule it out,” he told reporters in Washington.

Read full article and video in source: CBS News

Did a BOMB blow apart Russian holiday jet? Experts say plane’s sharp descent and scattered debris point to explosion

Russian air crash investigators have confirmed that an Airbus A321 which vanished from radar some 23 minutes after taking off from Sharm el-Sheikh broke up at high altitude.

Alexander Neradko, head of Russia’s federal aviation agency, confirmed that the jet disintegrated at high altitude in a remote area where Egypt is fighting ISIS and Al Qaeda-backed terrorists.

Mr Neradko refused to comment on the cause of the crash, claiming the investigation was ongoing, but terrorism experts believe that a bomb could have been responsible.

See full summary in source Daily Mail

Russian plane crash: airline claims crash could only be caused by “impact on plane”

Russian prime minister Medvedev said that “the key task is to investigate in detail what caused the tragedy”.

The Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that there are not yet any grounds to rule out any theory for the crash of a Russian airliner.

Bomb most likely cause, says French aviation expert
Michel Polacco, aviation expert on France Info radio, said terrorism was the most likely cause of the crash.
A break-up of the plane mid-flight that results in the type of debris we have seen can only come from a serious blow to the plane’s structure,” and most likely an explosion, said Mr Polacco, a pilot and flight instructor.
“It can be due to technical causes, but that is very unlikely and has rarely occured. That leads us to the terrorist line of inquiry, of a bomb that can have such effects,” he said.

Russian airline claims crash could only be caused by “impact on plane”
Alexander Smirnov, the deputy general director of Metrojet, said that no technical fault could have caused the plane to break up in the air, adding that it “could only have been a mechanical impact on the plane” in the air.
He said that a previous tail strike “was repaired fully“, and had no effect on its safety.
The plane’s engines were last inspected in Moscow on October 26, according to the airline, which claims that no problems were found.
They also said that the plane’s crew did not make any contact with the ground during the flight, and suggested that it would be impossible for the plane to break up in the air because of a technical or pilot fault.

See full summary in source Telegraph. co. UK

Flight 9268 air carrier blames A321 crash in Egypt on midair mechanical impact

According to Kogalymavia, the crew did not report any emergencies onboard which means they completely lost working ability

MOSCOW, November 2. /TASS/. A senior manager of the Kogalymavia air carrier, whose A321 passenger liner crashed in Egypt last Saturday, has blamed the disaster on major damage caused to the plane’s frame in flight.
The plane went out of control. It was not flying. It was falling,” said Viktor Yung, Kogalymavia’s deputy CEO. “Apparently, by that time it had suffered considerable damage that did not allow it to proceed with the flight.
The crew of the A321 plane that crashed in Egypt on October 31 did not report any emergencies onboard, Viktor Yung went on to say.
When the catastrophic situation started unveiling, the crew completely lost working ability. That is the explanation for the fact that no attempts were made to contact [air traffic controllers] and report an emergency onboard,” Yung said.

According to Kogalymavia airline’s deputy general director Andrey Averyanov, systemic checks rule out the possibility of developing “fatigue cracks” on the A321 plane that crashed in Egypt.
“Works on assessing fatigue cracks are conducted on planes once in six years, and more detailed examination is made every 12 years. While designing the plane, certain norms of airworthiness are used that guarantee that no fatigue crack can develop to a critical size during the interval,” Averyanov said.
He added that the plane underwent the last checks in March 2014.

Source: TASS. Russian News Agency

Analysts say Kiev authorities in fact team up with Islamic State

MOSCOW, October 14. /TASS/. Publication of personal data about Russian air pilots participating in the operation against the Islamic State in Syria on Ukraine’s Mirotvorets (Peacemaker) website in fact signifies that those behind the provocation have teamed up with IS terrorists, polled experts have told TASS. The provocation’s mastermind is Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister. Just recently he issued a call for publishing the personal data of Russian pilots operating in Syria on the Internet.

The next day the Peacemaker website published information about nine Russian military officers, their ranks ranging from lieutenant to major-general, in three languages – Russian, English and Arabic. It is noteworthy that earlier the same website gained notoriety by disclosing the home addresses of Ukrainian journalist Oles Buzina and Ukrainian parliament member Oleg Kalashnikov. Both would soon be killed near their homes.

The president of the association providing social support for retired military Otechestvo (Fatherland) Air Force Major-General Aleksandr Tsalko, is very articulate and to the point, just as a career military should be. He has told TASS that the call for making public personal data of Russian air pilots in Syria was an “act of meanness,” and that Gerashchenko was a “rascal who will surely wind up badly.” Russia’s Investigative Committee has already launched criminal proceedings against Gerashchenko under the article of the Criminal Code setting punishment “for making public calls for terrorist activity or for public justification of terrorism,” Tsalko recalled. then it’s an act of outrageous meanness – to expose people who are performing their duty and fighting against a menace that threatens the whole world,” Kobaladze said.

And the president of the National Strategy Institute, Mikhail Remizov, believes that the legislation of many countries leaves no room for connivance with terrorism. “This call by an adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry for publishing personal data of Russian air pilots in Syria and the reaction of social networks’ members that followed need close scrutiny by human rights activists. Such action deserves the international community’s condemnation,” Remizov told TASS.

Source and read full article: TASS. Russian News Agency