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Published On: Fri, Apr 14th, 2017

Egypt’s Interior Ministry Identified Tanta Church Suicide Bomber

nsnbc : Egypt’s Interior Ministry identified the suicide bomber who exploded a bomb at St. George’s church in Egypt’s Al Gharbeyya governorate killing 28 and injuring 71 celebrating Palm Sunday as Mamdouh Amin Mohamed Al-Baghdadi.

Mamdouh Amin Mohamed Al-Boghdadi identified by Egypt's Interior Ministry as Tanta suicide bomber.  Photo: Ministry of Interior

Mamdouh Amin Mohamed Al-Boghdadi identified by Egypt’s Interior Ministry as Tanta suicide bomber. Photo: Ministry of Interior

In a statement published on the Interior Ministry’s Facebook page it identified the suicide bomber from Tanta as Mamdouh Amin Mohamed Al-Baghdadi and noted that the 40-year-old joined a terrorist cell, headed by Amro Abbas Saad Ibrahim where he received training on the use of weapons and explosive devices.

The Interior Ministry also stated that Al-Baghdadi had been involved in a previous terrorist attack on a security checkpoint in Egypt’s Wadi al-Gadeed.

In its statement, the Ministry also named the names of three other terrorists who allegedly belong to the same terrorist cell. The first one is Salama Wahb Allah Abass Ibrahim, the second is Abdel Rahman Hassan Ahmed Mubarak and the third is Ali Shahat Hussein Shehata.

On Palm Sunday a bomb exploded at St. George’s church in Egypt’s Al Gharbeyya governorate killing 28 and injuring 71. Only hours later another attack was carried out against St Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria.  T

he Egyptian franchise of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, a.k.a. Wilayat Sinai, formerly known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for the attacks. Following these attacks Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and his cabinet declared a three-months-long, nationwide state of emergency.

Tanta_Egypt_After the attack on a Coptic Church_Palm Sunday_Apr 2017Egypt’s Muslim Al-Azhar, the highest Sunni Islamic authority in Egypt, issued a strongly worded statement condemning the attacks on the Coptic Christian communities. The bombings also led to more or less immediate criticism of Egypt’s Interior Ministry and Security Services for “having failed” the Christian Coptic communities in the country in the presence of increased islamist terrorism.

The bombings have also been condemned by the UN security Council as well as by political leaders from around the world, including Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who stressed that the fight against terrorism and especially against State-sponsored terrorism is an international issue.

Others again describe such criticism as an understandable emotional response but underpin that it is impossible to protect an entire country against terrorists who can strike anywhere, at any time. Terrorists who more often than not are internationally organized and supported by networks with links to foreign intelligence services. So far no organization claimed responsibility for the two bombings.

It is worth noting that the main purpose of attacks that target specific religious communities usually is not to harm any particular group of individuals but to destabilize a country by creating an atmosphere of mistrust, suspicion and division instead of understanding and solidarity.

File photo: ABM bombs Egyptian military vehicle. Courtesy Youm7

File photo: ABM bombs Egyptian military vehicle. Courtesy Youm7

ISIS, or rather the Egyptian ISIS franchise Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM), ak.k.a. Wilayat Sinai has claimed responsibility for the attacks. In 2014 Ansar Bait Al-Maqdis (ABM) declared allegiance to the self-proclaimed Islamic State, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (a.k.a. Al-Badri or Caliph Ibrahim), and changed its name to Wilayat Sinai (State of Sinai). AMB has also been designated as a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The group had, up until that period primarily focused on isolated small-scale bombings as well as assassinations of police and military officers and some government officials. However, ABM (Wilayat Sinai) underwent a drastic evolution that turned it into a capable and dangerous insurgency.

Part of the organization’s “success” was that it managed to unite part of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s armed wing, parts of the al-Qassam Brigades of Hamas, Islamic State affiliated insurgents from Libya, and other Al-Qaeda,  Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS-linked organizations.

ABM or Wilayat Sinai has been responsible for the majority of the acts of terrorism that have been carried out in Egypt since 2013 and it continues its insurgency. The group’s main “strongholds” are in Egypt’s North Sinai province along the border between Egypt and Palestine’s Gaza Strip, as well as along the Egyptian – Israeli border.

CH/L – nsnbc 14.04.2917

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