No “direct evidence” of attack in Egypt crash

There is no “direct evidence ” that terrorism was to blame in the Russian plane crash over Sinai this weekend, says US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

Speaking at a Washington defense summit, Clapper said it was “unlikely” that the Islamic State group had the capacity to carry out such an attack, but added “I wouldn’t rule it out.”

Both Cairo and Moscow have played down a claim from Egypt’s Islamic State branch that it brought down the aircraft, killing all 224 people on board. But the airline has said the Airbus 321 came down due to “external” factors, and that “no technical failures” could account for its apparent break-up in mid-air.

Investigators are examining all possible causes as they comb the remote crash site in the Sinai peninsula as part of an Egyptian-led probe into the disaster that also involves experts from Russia, Airbus, and Ireland, where the aircraft was registered.