"Egypt's civil aviation ministry said in a statement Thursday that the British theory of a bomb having been smuggled aboard the plane 'is not based on facts,' and that all of the country's airports apply international security standards.
"'The investigation team does not have any evidence or data confirming this hypothesis,' Civil Aviation Minister Hossam Kamal said, according to the statement."
"The signs pointing to ISIS [or the Islamic State], another U.S. official said, are partially based on monitoring of internal messages of the terrorist group. Those messages are separate from public ISIS claims of responsibility, that official said.
"In an audio message from ISIS' Sinai branch that was posted on terror-related social media accounts Wednesday, the organization adamantly insisted that it brought down the flight.
"'Find your black boxes and analyze them, give us the results of your investigation and the depth of your expertise and prove we didn't do it or how it was downed,' the message said. 'Die with your rage. We are the ones with God's blessing who brought it down. And God willing, one day we will reveal how, at the time we desire.'"
Update at 1:49 p.m. ET. A Simple Swipe:
Citing a Pentagon source, NPR's Tom Bowman reports the source says British authorities "may have gone out on a limb" by saying the airliner was more than likely brought down by a bomb.
According to Tom's source, in the end this should be very easy to figure out.
"The official says the key is getting someone on the ground to swipe the wreckage for any residue of explosives," Tom tells us. "It's not brain surgery and they should have that by now."