The Egyptian government apparently doesn’t agree that ISIS brought down Metrojet Flight 9268, a stance that pits them against the prevailing view in Russia, the US, the UK, and ISIS itself. Cairo is saying that its probe has found “no evidence” of terrorism behind the crash:
However, the head of the Egyptian committee investigating the crash, Ayman al-Muqaddim, was quoted by state TV on Monday as saying there was “no evidence that there is an act of terror or illegal intervention”.
Russia is sticking to its story, on the basis of what its investigators said were “traces of foreign explosives” found in and on the wreckage. I suspect that these Egyptian reports should come with a side of salt, because it is very much in Cairo’s interest to somehow convince the rest of the world that terrorists did not bring down a flight full of happy tourists. Egyptian tourism is going to be down 10% this year, and that’s the kind of hit that a precarious Egyptian economy can’t really afford to take. On the other hand, it’s also in Russia’s interest to push the idea that terrorists brought the plane down rather than, say, poor maintenance by a Russian airline. At some point, Egypt is going to have to offer an alternative explanation for the plane’s mid-air explosion if it has any hope of getting people to believe that terrorists weren’t the culprit, and experts will get the chance to evaluate that claim.
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