27 August 2004 -- Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said today that at least one of the two Russian plane crashes on 24 August that killed a total of 89 people was the result of a terrorist attack.
Sergei Ignatchenko, the top FSB spokesman, was quoted by ITAR-TASS as saying that according to preliminary investigation, "at least one of the two air crashes, the one in the Rostov region, came as a result of a terrorist attack".
Another FSB spokesman, Nikolai Zakharov, said investigators had discovered traces of an explosive material, hexogen, in the wreckage of the Tu-154 plane. There was no fresh information about the other plane, a Tu-134, that crashed near Tula.
"After searching through the wreckage of the TU-154 plane, investigators found traces of explosive material. Preliminary analysis showed the substance to be hexogen, but additional analysis is being carried out. The wreckage of the TU-134 plane is being analyzed, but there are no new results," Zakharov said.
The FSB declined to comment on an Internet statement purportedly by a little-known Islamist group claiming responsibility for the crashes. The group, calling itself the Islambouli Brigade, said its followers had hijacked and brought down the planes to avenge the killing of Muslims in Chechnya.