Cairo Church Bomber Linked to Muslim Brotherhood

Dec 13th, 2016 | By | Category: News Posts

st-marks-cairoThe suicide bomber who killed 30 people in Cairo’s main cathedral on Sunday was a Muslim Brotherhood supporter who joined a militant cell while hiding out from the police, according to the Interior Ministry.

The mother of the alleged bomber told Reuters her son had been sexually abused in police custody in 2014, but she didn’t recognize any signs of radicalization in him.

The Interior Ministry identified the attacker as Mahmoud Shafik Mohammed Mostafa, a 22-year-old student. President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said four people are detained and two are on the run.

The DailyStar reports: “The Interior Ministry said Mahmoud was arrested in March 2014 for carrying arms during a protest, and was freed on bail after two months. It said he had joined a cell led by Mohab Mostafa Sayyed Qassem, a militant with links to ISIS fighters in Northern Sinai and exiled Brotherhood officials in Qatar, and was wanted in two other cases.”

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The Muslim Brotherhood won Egypt’s first free elections after the 2011 uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak’s rule. Mursi became the president but was overthrown two years later after mass protests.

The Muslim Brotherhood is Egypt’s oldest Islamist organization and claims to be peaceful, but has “split into rival wings since the crackdown, while some erstwhile supporters have formed splinter groups that carry out targeted attacks on police and judicial officials.”

Some younger members of the organization fled to Syria or joined local arms of the Islamic State, which is responsible for the killings of hundreds of soldiers and police officers in the Sinai Peninsula. The Egyptian army responded by conducting air strikes and bulldozing entire villages.

Update: Reports from Associated Press state the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack: “The Islamic State group claimed responsibility Tuesday for a suicide bombing at a Cairo church two days earlier that killed 25 people, highlighting a new escalation of violence in Egypt against civilians and Christians in particular.

In a statement circulated online, it 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.”

However, Egypt still believes the attacker to be involved with the Muslim Brotherhood.

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