A militant group affiliated to Islamic State in Egypt has claimed responsibility for shooting down the Russian passenger plane as it flew through Sinai peninsula on Saturday.
The claim was circulated by supporters on Twitter and also published on the Aamaq news website, which has been used on a semi-official basis by Islamic State to circulate propaganda in the past.
There is no confirmation from any other sources that the plane crashed as a result of terrorist activity — and Egyptian officials were quick to rule that out as a cause of the crash earlier this morning.
A report in July by military expert IHS Janes said Islamic State affiliate group Wilayat Sinai had propaganda videos in which militants fire man-portable air defence systems or MANPADS, which have been reported to reach up to 22,000 feet. The airliner was said to be travelling at least 31,000 feet before it made a steep descent as it crashed.
@GebeilyM Reported altitude was 11,000 m — if correct, way too high for a MANPAD.
— Jeffrey Lewis (@ArmsControlWonk) 31 октября 2015
MANPADS wouldn’t be able to get close to a jet at 30,000+ feet, their flight ceiling is closer to 10,000 feet https://t.co/e3cJOREP0E
— Eliot Higgins (@EliotHiggins) 31 октября 2015