Soon after the Russians appeared to begin taking the possibility of terrorism in the Metrojet crash more seriously, placing restrictions on flights into Egypt, Egyptian authorities conceded that a bomb was the most plausible explanation for the crash.
An Egyptian government official told ABC News that his government “can no longer dismiss the possibility that a bomb was placed on the plane and, in their mind, it is the most plausible scenario, adding that a technical problem is now at the bottom of their list of possible scenarios.”
As recently as Thursday afternoon, the Egyptian government dismissed American and British suspicions that the plane was destroyed by a bomb, in fairly heated terms, condemning the U.K. travel ban to Egypt as an “overreaction.” Britons are a major part of Egypt’s vital tourist industry.
The change in Egypt’s posture may have begun after President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi had what the Associated Press describes as an “awkward” meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron in London.
Also on Friday afternoon, the first flight bringing stranded British tourists home from Egypt landed in London. More flights have been planned but were held up due to “logistical difficulties,” according to AFP.