World View: Egypt’s Warplanes Attack Libya Camps After Terror Attack Kills Coptic Christians

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi says "all the theories are possible" as investigators probe the EgyptAir plane crash

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Terrorists massacre dozens of Coptic Christians in Egypt
  • Egypt’s warplanes bomb al-Qaeda jihadist training camps in Libya

Terrorists massacre dozens of Coptic Christians in Egypt

Screen grab from terrorist public relations video showing Egyptian Coptic Christian fishermen just prior to beheading in Libya in Feb 2015
Screen grab from terrorist public relations video showing Egyptian Coptic Christian fishermen just prior to beheading in Libya in Feb 2015

On Friday, ten masked gunmen driving three 4×4 wheelers opened fire with “random shooting” about 140 miles south of Cairo, Egypt, on a convoy of two buses carrying Coptic Christians who were traveling towards Saint Samuel the Confessor Monastery in Maghagha to pray, killing 26 and injuring 25.

Friday’s killings were just the latest in a wave of terror attacks on Coptic Christians. In December, dozens of people were killed by a terrorist explosion during Sunday prayers in the chapel of St Peter and St Paul (El-Botroseya) adjoining Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo.

Then in April, during Palm Sunday services, there were coordinate bombing attacks on Coptic churches in two different cities, killing over 75 people and wounding dozens more. A furious president Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi declared a state of emergency in Egypt for three months, allowing authorities to make arrests without warrants and search people’s homes. This gave the government near dictatorial powers that could easily be abused, but they didn’t prevent Friday’s terror attack on Coptic Christians.

Coptic Christians are vocal supporters of al-Sisi, but they are furious at the al-Sisi government for not preventing these repeated attacks, but al-Sisi seems helpless to stop them. The Coptic church dates back nearly 2,000 years, almost to the time of Christ. Coptics make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s population of 92 million.

No one has yet claimed credit for Friday’s attacks, but both the previous attacks were claimed by the Sinai terror group called Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM – Ansar Jerusalem – Champions of Jerusalem). The group changed its name to Al Wilayat Sinai (Province of Sinai) when it changed its allegiance in 2015 from al-Qaeda to the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh). Al Ahram (Cairo) and France 24 and Reuters

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Egypt’s warplanes bomb al-Qaeda jihadist training camps in Libya

In a TV speech late on Friday, Egypt’s president Abdul Fattah al-Sisi promised to “protect our people from evil,” and announced that warplanes were attacking the town of Derna in eastern Libya, near the border with Egypt. According to al-Sisi,

The terrorist incident that took place today will not pass unnoticed. We are currently targeting the camps where the terrorists are trained.

Forces from the East Libyan government (one of the three governments currently in Libya) said that they participated in the airstrikes.

This was not the first time that al-Sisi ordered the bombing of al-Qaeda camps in Libya. Readers may recall a widely publicized terror attack from February 2015. The terrorist group Ansar al-Sharia, which had recently changed allegiance from al-Qaeda to ISIS, released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christian workers who had been kidnapped while serving as guest workers in Sirte. The 21 hostages were identified as fishermen from an impoverished village in northern Egypt.

At that time, al-Sisi declared seven days of national mourning, and announced that warplanes has conducted air strikes against militant targets in Libya, including training camps in arms depots. The targets were in the region of Derna, the same as the latest airstrikes. AP and BBC (16-Feb-2015) and Daily Mail (London)

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KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Egypt, Coptic Christians, Libya, Derna, Sirte, Saint Samuel the Confessor Monastery, Maghagha, Ansar Jerusalem, Ansar Bayt al Maqdis, ABM, Champions of Jerusalem, Sinai Province, Al Wilayat Sinai, Mohammed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, Egypt, chapel of St Peter and St Paul, El-Botroseya, Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
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