One week after a passenger plane crashed in Egypt, the investigation into the worst civil-aviation disaster in Russian history has become a multinational effort.
Russian and Egyptian investigators are working together to pull information from the plane’s black boxes. The United States is combing through its own intelligence reports and satellite data. The United Kingdom must be too, since on Wednesday it became the first world power to publicly suggest terrorism. It went further on Thursday, when British Prime Minister David Cameron said the crash was “more likely than not” caused by a bomb. President Obama followed him later that day, saying that “it’s certainly possible that there was a bomb on board.”
The cause of the crash of Metrojet Flight 9268 has not yet been officially determined. Moscow has dismissed reports of a terroristic act as speculation. So has Cairo. But the international response—the hurried independent attempts by uninvolved nations to figure out what happened—makes sense in a world where the worst outcome affects not only Russia and Egypt, but also dozens of other nations. A branch of the Islamic State based in the Sinai Peninsula, where Flight 9268 fell, has claimed responsibility for the crash. If that is confirmed, the crash would be the worst terrorist attack on civil aviation since 9/11—and the first by the world’s most violent jihadist organization.