Målet for de tre selvmordsbomberne i Sharm el-Sheikh var vestlige turister, men to av dem nådde ikke sitt mål.
Den første selvmordsbomberen hadde tenkt å sprenge seg i lufta på et hotell fullt av vestlige turister, men ble stanset av en kontrollpost som det er mange av. Bare den andre selvmordsbomberen kom seg inn i sitt mål: Ghazala Gardens Hotel. Den tredje nådde ikke frem. At langt de fleste ofrene var egyptere, skyldtes altså at opplegget slo feil. Vestlige turister var det egentlige målet.
Police believe the first bombing, in which a small pickup truck exploded in the middle of a wide street just outside the town’s Old Market, was actually intended for a nearby hotel filled with European guests.
About three to five minutes later, police said, a second bomber crashed a similar pickup truck into the lobby of his intended target, the Ghazala Gardens Hotel, and detonated his explosives, destroying much of the front of the hotel, which has 220 rooms and was fully booked, mostly with Europeans.
The last of the three explosions, about three minutes after the second blast, was detonated by a bomber on foot in a parking lot, and caused relatively few fatalities. But less than 50 yards away is a pedestrian promenade lined with bars and restaurants. It was teeming with Westerners, even around 1 a.m., because the tourists come out late after the intense heat of the day finally lets up.