President Obama’s observation that a bomb may have downed a Russian plane in Egypt was based on specific information gathered by U.S. authorities, the White House said Friday.

“Information that is known by the U.S. government led the president to make that statement,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.

In an interview, Mr. Obama said “there is a possibility that there was a bomb on board, and we are taking that very seriously.” He said it was too early to say for sure.

Russia ordered a halt in flights to Egypt Friday as concerns grew that a bomb downed the plane that took off from the Sharm el-Sheikh resort, killing all 224 aboard. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the disaster, although investigators haven’t established a cause.

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