After confirmation from Egypt that a Russian passenger plane had crashed in Sinai on Saturday, speculations and conspiracy theories were rife whether the plane had been shot down while it flew over the Isis stronghold of Sinai.
The Russian airline Kogalymavia flight was on its way to Russia after taking off from Sharm el-Sheikh resort on the Red Sea and had 224 people, including 17 children, on board when it crashed near Nekhel in the north of Sinai.
Isis has carried out increasing attacks in Sinai on Egypt's security forces and civilians, and has established the group's presence in the region over recent months.
Speculations on Twitter and other social media pointed at a possible Isis reprisal following Russian airstrikes against Islamic state targets in Syria over the past month.
Russia's RIA news agency has reported that the plane developed technical problems and the pilot had sought to make an emergency landing in Cairo.
Egyptian security sources have said that there was no indication that the plane was shot down.
Terrorism researcher Charlie Winter said on his Twitter account that it was unlikely that Isis weapons had the ability or range to down a plane flying at 31,000 feet as the Russian aircraft was.
— Charlie Winter (@charliewinter) October 31, 2015
But that has not stopped netizens from speculating about the plane crash, as evident by these Twitter posts -
1. Russia bombs ISIS 2. Russian airliner falls from sky while flying over the Northern Sinai home of Islamist groups affiliated to ISIS Hmm.
— Julian Gough (@juliangough) October 31, 2015
Have ISIS affiliates actually claimed the downing of Russia's Kogalymavia airliner over Egypt's Sinai? I've only seen rumors until now.
— Joe Catron (@jncatron) October 31, 2015
Have ISIS affiliates actually claimed the downing of Russia's Kogalymavia airliner over Egypt's Sinai? I've only seen rumors until now. — Joe Catron (@jncatron) October 31, 2015
I can't help being speculative. But ISIS threatened reprisals against Russia. Could this be Wilayat Sinai at work? https://t.co/6OzJnBWk5h
— Ryan Cummings (@Pol_Sec_Analyst) October 31, 2015
Russian passenger plane with 224 people on board, crashes at Sinai, Egypt. Likely to be targeted from surface, stronghold of ISIS area.
— Loud Rebel ™ (@Askari_H) October 31, 2015