The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee said Sunday that it’s not “dead-bang certain” yet that a bomb brought down a Russian Metrojet over the Sinai on Halloween, “but there’s a strong probability that it was.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that, if it was a bomb, it should serve as a “wake-up call” to the United States and others about how far terrorists will go.
“First of all, you’ve got the flight data recorder and the voice recorder that record something that could be an explosion,” she said of the evidence. “Secondly, it’s the nature of ISIL, I think. You know, ISIL is now in 12 countries. They do attack after attack. The forensics on the superstructure of the plane need to be done. I’m delighted to hear that the FBI will be going into the area and will participate and I believe we are sharing our information, intelligence information now.”
“My understanding is that we weren’t for a while but I have now heard that we are,” she added of the intelligence sharing. “I hope that’s true.”
Feinstein said that if it is a bomb, it’s “a very big thing for Russia.”
“This was a Russian plane with Russian people, major attack. Russia is in the area. Russia has got three bases, has planes, has people. My hope is that Russia will take a strong stance against ISIL. And they are not now so doing. Most of the attacks are directed toward the moderate opposition. And I think the time has come for us also to begin to develop a joint strategy with Russia,” she said.
“I hope it’s a wake-up call to Putin and I hope, to some extent, it’s a wake-up call to us. I have said before, and I really believe it, we will fight them now or we will fight them later. It’s only a question of time. And they’re now in 12 countries. They’ve done 25 major attacks in these countries, outside of Syria and Iraq in the last two years. This is a huge worldwide problem and we’ve got to play a major role. The Russians should, as well.”
Feinstein said she’s “most worried about” the kind of bomb “that there have been four attempts to bring into this country. And that’s the one that goes through a magnetometer.”
“The bomb maker is still alive and that bomb is a recipe for which is easy to get. And it is very serious. It can take down a plane,” she said.
“So we need to totally be on our guard. We need to do those things that are prudent and direct. And I think Homeland Security realizes that and we are toughening in those places which are important to toughen security in now.”