TEL AVIV – Writing in an encrypted chat room, Islamic State sympathizers and militants celebrated the deadly terrorist attack against a bus of Coptic Christian pilgrims in Egypt on Friday, and warned that Christians in the country should expect more such attacks.
Breitbart Jerusalem obtained access to correspondence posted in a closed chat group that utilizes the encrypted Telegram messaging service. The group serves as an internal Twitter of sorts for IS jihadists and sympathizers, and has been used in the past to issue IS communications.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in which 29 Christian civilians were murdered by gunmen claiming to be security forces as the pilgrims were reportedly on their way to volunteer at a monastery.
“A security team of caliphate soldiers set up an ambush for dozens of Christians as they headed to the church of St. Samuel,” IS announced on Saturday through Amaq, the terrorist group’s media and propaganda arm.
The attack horrified Egypt and the Western world, but IS members and supporters on the Telegram network viewed the carnage as heroic and vowed to continue targeting Christians.
Talha Alanssari wrote in the Telegram conversation, “May your jihad be blessed; you are sons of the Islamic State. Bless the pure hands that struck the strongholds of the Christians and the infidels. Thank Allah who made our hearts happy with the heroic attack of the nation of Caliphs against the Christians in Egypt who should expect more attacks. The same Christians will not have the luxury of security and they will pay … the taxes of the Jizya with the help of Allah”
Jizya is a tax levied on non-Muslims living in an Islamic state.
Oubaida Alsinawi joined the conversation, saying, “Thanks to Allah before and thanks to Allah after. He’s the one who made a success of this attack of our brothers in the military arena who left to commit suicide but returned safely, thank Allah alone. Thank Allah who allowed our brothers to hunt these Christians as the hunter hunts his prey. The soldiers of the Islamic State will continue in an open-ended campaign with these Christians and traitorous Muslims in the Egyptian army and the tribes that help them in Sinai. I swear to Allah that our brothers in the field are demonstrating creativity as they reach these Christians and infidels and all those who help them. The attacks that have yet to come will be much harder with the help of Allah.”
Hamza Alraqawi wrote, “May your jihad be blessed, you the Mujahedeen of the Islamic State in Egypt. You warmed our hearts as our Mujahedeen brothers did who struck in England, Belgium, France, America and Russia. We say to you, continue with the blessing of Allah and increase your attacks and don’t allow them to continue harming the oppressed on the Earth. Here in Raqqa we are fighting fiercely on the outskirts of the city and we won’t let the infidels and traitors enter. Our bodies are explosives meant to kill them and lead them to hell.”
A Telegram user who goes by the name “The Sheikh of the Caliphate” wrote, “Thanks to Allah before and thanks to Allah after for strengthening the Mujahedeen and guiding their hands in their campaigns and attacks. The blessed attack against Christians in Egypt had a special importance for the Mujahedeen, especially after the suicide attack committed in their idol churches. The war against the Christians is no less important than the war against the Shi’ites and against the infidels. They must clearly understand that the abduction and killing of Muslim men and women in Egypt’s streets will not pass without punishment and they must wait for more painful things with the help of Allah.”
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.
Ali Waked is the Arab affairs correspondent for Breitbart Jerusalem.