WASHINGTON — Senior House members said Sunday that there was a mounting consensus among U.S. intelligence officials that a bomb brought down the Russian charter jet that crashed last month in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, killing all 224 people on board.
“I think there's a growing body of intelligence and evidence that this was a bomb — still not conclusive — but a growing body of evidence,” Rep. Adam B. Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said on the ABC program “This Week.”
「我認為,越來越多的情報和證據指向了炸彈爆炸。儘管還沒有定論,但是證據越來越多,」加利福尼亞州眾議員亞當·B·希夫(Adam B. Schiff)在ABC新聞節目《本周》(This Week)上說。希夫是眾議院情報委員會民主黨資深成員。
Rep. Peter T. King, R-N.Y., the chairman of the House Homeland Security subcommittee on terrorism and intelligence, went further, saying on the same program that intelligence officials he had spoken to believed that the Islamic State or an affiliate was behind the crash.
紐約州共和黨眾議員、眾議院國土安全委員會(Homeland Security Committee)主席皮特·T·金(Peter T. King)更進一步,在同一個節目上說他與一些情報官員交談過,他們認為伊斯蘭國(Islamic State)或其分支組織是這起墜機事件的幕後元兇。
“Right now all the evidence points in that direction,” King said.
It is not clear how much U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies have learned about the crash, which occurred Oct. 31. U.S. investigators have not been invited to visit the crash site, and while the Russian government has asked the FBI for help, it is not known how much information Moscow has shared with the bureau.
In the days before the crash, electronic communications in which militants discussed an aviation attack were intercepted, but U.S. officials said that type of “chatter” is often picked up.
Schiff, who was briefed by intelligence officials on Saturday, raised the possibility that someone working at the airport may have helped the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, place a bomb on the plane.
“ISIS may have concluded that the best way to defeat airport defenses is not to go through them but to go around them with the help of somebody on the inside,” Schiff said.
If the Islamic State was behind the crash, it was able to mount the kind of attack that al-Qaida has found difficult to carry out in recent years. At least three times since 2009, al-Qaida's affiliate in Yemen has come close but failed to bring down an airliner using bombs that were designed to be undetectable.