The Islamic State (IS) -Daesh- announced on Tuesday, December 12, 2016, claimed responsibility for the bombing of a church attached to the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo on Sunday, killing 25 people and was the deadliest attack targeting the Christian minority for years.
In a statement attributed to Daesh, the militant group said the bomber had killed and injured 80 people, vowing “to continue war against apostates.” The Egyptian government had earlier released footage showing images said to be that of the alleged suicide attacker.
The pro-IS Amaq news agency said in a statement on Tuesday that a suicide bomber “of the Islamic State carried out the attack using an explosive belt”, identifying him as Abu Abdallah Al Masri.
The Islamic State vowed in its statement to escalate its “war on polytheism” . The threat suggested that the group, which has been battling the Egyptian military in the Sinai Peninsula for years, planned to intensify its operations in Egypt’s biggest cities. “All the infidels and the apostates in Egypt and everywhere should know that our fight against polytheism is going on,” the IS statement said.
However, the name mentioned in the IS statement is different from the one declared by Egyptian authorities when Al-Sisi announced on Monday that a young man called Mahmoud Mohamed Shafik Mostafa was the perpetrator.
Usually, it is not possible to verify statements attributed to “ISIS” from an independent source.
ISIS in Cairo: a security failure to al-Sisi regime
It is considered a real security failure for al-Sisi regime after three years of his so-called “war on terrorism” that ISIS claims responsibility for the deadly attack in Cairo.
Shady al-Ghazali Harb, an Egyptian political activist, commented on his Facebook account saying, “ISIS’s access to Cairo means: a dramatic security failure, the regime feeds violence with repression, the ministry of interior’s statement lies regarding the Muslim Brotherhood, and the regime’s agreement with the Salafist will turn against us.”
The ‘Sinai Province’, a group affiliated to the Islamic State, has been active in Sinai despite the Egyptian armed and security forces’ attempts to uproot the terrorist organization there. The militants have killed hundreds of police officers and army soldiers in Sinai Peninsula.
Sinai Province continues to target Egypt’s armed and security forces in various attacks, mostly through roadside bombings, and ambushes, as well as operations against security checkpoints.
Civilians have increasingly been targeted in the crossfire between security services and ISIS militants.