GOP lawmaker: Russian plane crash 'looks like ISIS'

The cause of a Russian airliner crash "looks like [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria]," a Republican congressman and former CIA official said Tuesday.  

"Being convinced 100 percent is difficult, but it looks like it was ISIS," said Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas), a former CIA official and member of the House Homeland Security Committee, on CNN's "Wolf."

ADVERTISEMENT

"There's still reviews ongoing. But we should treat it as such. And this would be a significant departure from ISIS's tactics and techniques in the region," Hurd said.

Investigators of the plane crash said earlier this week that they are "90 percent sure" that the cause of the crash of Metrojet Flight 9268 on Oct. 31 was a bomb.  

All 224 people onboard were killed when the plane broke up mid-air only 23 miles from where it took off in Egypt. 

ISIS had immediately claimed responsibility, but international investigators and and officials had expressed skepticism that the group — which had been focused on territorial gains in Iraq and Syria — had the capability.

Hurd said he thought the attack was designed to hurt Egypt, whose authorities are battling ISIS, rather than the Russians, who began an airstrike campaign in Syria in September to shore up Syrian President Bashar Assad against opposition rebels. 

Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) also said Tuesday that he believed that ISIS was behind the crash, which he said was a "major game changer with respect to ISIS entering a new chapter." 

"We expected this from al Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula. ... They were the premier bomb maker targeting aviation. But now ISIS has demonstrated they — if this is found to be true, which I believe it is — have the capability now to hit aircrafts with bombs," McCaul said on Fox News. 

"This is going beyond the caliphate. These are external operations that could be pointed right at the United States of America," he added.