WASHINGTON (CNN) – The U.S. intelligence on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is now pointing to Russian involvement.
President Obama said, “We know that Russia has armed them with military equipment and weapons, including anti-aircraft weapons. Key separatist leaders are Russian citizens.”
The U.S. dossier to prove it, assembled by military and intelligence analysts scouring data from spy satellites, radars and phone intercepts.
It began when unknown to the world, Russian rebels secretly moved a heavy arsenal of weapons into place; weapons that would lead to the shoot down according to us intelligence.
According to Secretary of State John Kerry, “There was a convoy several weeks ago, about 150 vehicles, with armed personnel carrier, multiple rocket launchers, and tanks, artillery, all of which crossed over from Russia into the eastern part of Ukraine, and was turned over to the separatists.”
Within minutes of Flight 17 dropping off radar, the U.S. suspected a shoot down. Experts narrowed in on two pieces of critical intelligence.
First, a surface to air missile system had been activated in a separatist controlled area in eastern Ukraine. A moment later an U.S. satellite captured the heat signature of a mid air explosion.
“We know that within hours of this event, this particular system passed through two town’s right in the vicinity of the shoot down we detected a launch from that area, and our trajectory shows that it went to the aircraft,” said Kerry.
The conclusion: a Russian supplied BUK, or SA11, surface to air missile launcher shot down the flight. The evidence: U.S. verified telephone intercepts concluded the separatists had a SA11 system as early as Monday, July 14th.
U.S. intelligence has also identified a facility in southwest Russia where rebel’s fighters have been trained on surface to air missile systems.