Updated on November 5 at 6:43 p.m.
Russian and Egyptian officials have labeled as speculation reports that a bomb brought down the passenger jet that crashed in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula last weekend, killing 224 people.
Metrojet Flight 9268 crashed on October 31 shortly after takeoff from the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh en route to St. Petersburg, Russia. Initial claims of responsibility by a group linked to the Islamic State were dismissed by Egyptian and other officials.
Speculation about what brought down the plane began almost as soon as it crashed. A senior airline official said it could have only been brought down by external force. Russian officials called the remarks premature. But speculation about the crash mounted Wednesday when Britain suspended flights to and from Sharm el-Sheikh, citing concerns over security. And as my colleague Marina Koren reported, several American news organizations cited unnamed U.S. officials as saying U.S. intelligence agencies have reached “the tentative conclusion that the Islamic State’s Sinai affiliate planted an explosive device on the plane.”
President Obama said during a radio interview Thursday night that “I think there is a possibility that there was a bomb on board and we're taking that very seriously.”