Plane Got Shot Down, Says US Intelligence
But officials don't know who fired the missile
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2014 3:56 PM CDT
Fire engines arrive at the crash site of a passenger plane near the village of Grabovo, Ukraine.   (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

(Newser) – US intelligence officials say that a surface-to-air missile did indeed bring down a passenger jet over Ukraine today, but they can't say who fired it or even which side of the border it came from, reports the Wall Street Journal. Both the Ukraine government and pro-Russian separatists have denied responsibility. A Ukraine official asserts that a missile system known as a Buk launcher brought down the plane, and he alleges that Russia supplied it to separatists. The AP reports seeing something similar to a Buk system this week in separatist-held territory, but that's not exactly damning proof—a weapons expert points out that Ukraine forces also have Buk systems.

It will take a while for investigators to make an official determination, though CNBC cites unconfirmed reports that the plane's black-box data recorder has been found, which should speed things up. Meanwhile, Joe Biden, who said the plane was "blown out of the sky," spoke to Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko and offered US help with the investigation, reports Reuters. Poroshenko is calling the plane crash a "terrorist act," notes the New York Times, though President Obama used the phrase "terrible tragedy" to describe it in his initial comments. No word yet on whether any Americans were among the 298 people aboard. All are feared dead.

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Showing 3 of 127 comments
Jul 26, 2014 7:28 PM CDT
I am a firm believer of analyzing multiple, often conflicting sources to find out the truth. Best way for anyone interested in objective research is to analyze amateur footage of the crash and eye witness accounts. Unfortunately there is only one amateur video that is likely to be actual footage of MH17 crash. I base that on that both factions with conflicting opinions use that video. In the first minutes of video there are no visible exhaust trails. This could be due to poor quality of the video. Most people know that both planes and missiles leave exhaust trails. This puts entire official line of US gov in to question.
Chris Farley
Jul 18, 2014 8:16 AM CDT
Dang I just have to laugh every time I read, US intelligence. They fail so much they shouldnt be allowed to use the word intelligence in the header.
Jul 17, 2014 10:16 PM CDT
I got this off the internet. Ukraine Secret Service has recorded this conversation, where pro Russia fighters admit to shooting down the plane.