A bright flash and catastrophic event suggest an explosion, but do not necessarily exclude the possibility of a mechanical failure. This would not, in fact, be the first time evidence pointed to a terrorist attack when none existed.
It is tempting to describe Egypt's parliamentary elections as history repeating itself. Yet today's Egypt is not Mubarak's Egypt. Rather, it is a state transitioning from single-party rule to a new system whose pecking order is still being hashed out.
It is not true that domestic politics can be quarantined from foreign policy. In fact, Egypt's domestic and foreign policies are becoming more entangled by the day. And that bleed-over should raise concerns.
Libya is as vulnerable to further inroads by ISIS now as Syria was a year ago. What can the United States and its allies do to stop the hemorrhaging? Many options have been debated, but none look very promising.
Regional governments may put some of their differences aside to help fight ISIS. But in a region rife with turmoil and multiple internal fissures, Washington cannot count on its confrontation with ISIS as its partners' overriding priority.
Casualties are rising in the conflict between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip. Are there any realistic expectations for peace in the region? Who could broker a settlement between Hamas and Israel?
As the threat of the Muslim Brotherhood reclaiming power recedes, it will become difficult for the new authorities in Egypt to hold together a coalition that is built solely on its members' shared antipathy for the Islamist group.
Some believe the Muslim Brotherhood should stay in the political game, adopting the role of loyal opposition. The Brotherhood would remain a minority party, but it could continue to hold offices, provide social assistance that the government does not, and demonstrate its continuing strength at the polls.
It's pretty clear that the U.S. administration is frustrated with the way Egypt is going, says Dalia Dassa Kaye. There are few good choices. What is unfortunate is the development of cutting economic assistance to Egypt. That is sending exactly the wrong message to the Egyptian people and the broader region.
As terrible as yesterday was in Egypt, things could get worse, says Jeffrey Martini, a RAND Middle East analyst. While the military-ruled government appears to be trying to break the neck of the Muslim Brotherhood, one shoe that hasn't dropped is the arrest of senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders.
While Egypt really is in trouble, what is needed is not a U.S. signal in the form of an aid cut off or another European mediation effort, it is for Egyptian liberals to stand up and condition their participation in government on genuine national reconciliation.
U.S. policy should not be hamstrung by a narrow focus on democratization, writes Seth G. Jones. More than ever, the United States and its allies should think first about protecting their vital strategic interests in Egypt and the region.
The establishment of a stable government in Egypt is an elusive goal that depends on finding ways to reduce seemingly intractable levels of political polarization, says Jeffrey Martini. There is little cause for optimism that polarization will diminish any time soon.
Critics advocate for acknowledging that what occurred in Egypt is a coup and shutting off the more than $1.5 billion that Egypt receives annually from the US government. But this position fails to appreciate the limits of the leverage Washington derives from its aid to Cairo and the potential consequences of halting it.
The Egyptian military, still bruised from its last stint in power, is likely to proceed with caution this time around. If it does intervene, it will likely seek some acquiescence from the Islamists and will want to quickly form an inclusive caretaker government.
Rebel, or Tamarud, is a petition drive aimed at ousting President Morsi by collecting more signatures calling for his resignation than the number of votes he received in the 2012 elections. On June 30, the organizers will take to the streets in a rally that is likely to touch off clashes with security forces and Morsi's supporters.
The governor of the Egyptian city of Luxor, Mohamed El-Khayat, resigned amid protests last week, just days after being appointed to the post by President Mohamed Morsi. His selection was controversial due to his affiliation with an Islamist terror group that in 1997 killed 62 people in Luxor, many of them tourists.
In this video, RAND Middle East analyst Jeffrey Martini discusses what past electoral performance and the current political context say about the Islamists' strength in Egypt and what it means for the United States.
While much has been written on the electoral strength of Islamists in Egypt, most of the analysis has been done at the national level, ignoring regional divides within the country. A new report identifies the areas where Islamist parties run strongest, and the areas where non-Islamists are most competitive.
The Egyptian process left no room for broad deliberation of the constitutional issues, or even for educating citizens about the text of the document on which they were asked to vote, writes Laurel Miller.
If there ever was a honeymoon in Egypt's post-Mubarak politics, it is long over. The two main ideological camps—Islamists and secular-liberals—have shown a willingness to cooperate only when brought together by a common foe, writes Jeffrey Martini.
Mohamed Morsi's victory is a huge step in Egypt's political development, but his authorities were recently curtailed by the military and it is unclear how much power he will actually wield, writes Jeffrey Martini.
The Muslim Brotherhood now faces a choice. It can seat Mursi and continue to legitimate a post-Mubarak transition that seems designed to advance the narrow interests of Egypt's officer corps. Or it can return to the streets with the aim of unseating the military council, writes Jeff Martini.
RAND expert Jeffrey Martini speaks on the upcoming Egyptian presidential election and offers insights on the various presidential candidates, Egyptian and global reactions to the candidates, and the possible implications of an undefined constitution for the candidate that will be elected.
Just as before the disqualifications, the fundamental decision voters face is about the scope and nature of the change Egypt will undergo in the coming years. And there are still candidates representing almost every position on that spectrum, writes Jeffrey Martini.
The Arab Spring demonstrated that leaderless revolutions are difficult to repress or co-opt. Unfortunately, it is also true that leaderless revolts find it difficult to make transition to authority, writes Charles Ries.
Assisting Arab democratic transitions will not eliminate religious extremism. But successful transitions would directly challenge the jihadist brands that promote attacks on America, writes Julie Taylor.
There is no clear political party or leader ready to step in if the regime in Egypt falls. However, this protest is not without leadership; it is spearheaded by a large network of Egyptian human rights groups and other citizens, writes Julie Taylor.