Mary Anna (25 Jan 2011)
"Conclusive evidence' shows Palestinian Islamic Army behind church attack: Egyptian Interior Minstry"
Who's surprised? (mary)
(URL) Conclusive evidence' shows Palestinian Islamic Army behind church attack: Egyptian Interior Minstry
Those 'foreign hands' behind the Two Saints Church bombing allegedly Palestinian, according to the Egyptian government
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An Al-Qaeda linked group
in Gaza was behind the New Year's Eve suicide bombing that killed at
least 21 and wounded about a hundred outside a church in the
Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, the country's interior minister
announced Sunday in his speech marking Police Day.
Minister Habib El-Adly said "conclusive evidence" showed that the
shadowy, Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Army was behind the planning
and execution of the attack, which sparked three days of Christian
rioting in Cairo and several other cities.
"If elements of the
Palestinian Islamic Army, linked to al Qaeda, thought they had hidden
behind elements that were recruited, we have decisive proof of their
heinous involvement in planning and carrying out such a villainous
terrorist act," El-Adly said.
It was the deadliest attack against Christians in Egypt in more than a decade.
identification of a foreign-based group as the perpetrator of the
bombing provides authorities with key support to their contention that
sectarianism was not behind violence against Christians and that
al-Qaida has no significant foothold in Egypt.
announcement came in an address he delivered during a ceremony marking
"Police Day" that was attended by President Hosni Mubarak, cabinet
ministers and top police officials.
In a separate address,
Mubarak vowed that his government will "triumph over terror" and that
he will do his utmost to maintain unity between Egyptians.
will not be lenient with sectarian actions from either side and will
confront their perpetrators with the might and decisiveness of the
law," said Mubarak, Egypt's ancient ruler of nearly 30 years, during
which he decisively crushed an Islamist insurgency in the 1990s.
in his own speech marking Police Day, praised the police for finding
out who was responsible for the bombing and said the attackers had
"tried to sow discord between Copts and Muslims".
officials said an unspecified number of people have been detained in
connection with the Alexandria bombing but gave no more details. They
spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to
share the information with the media.
The Palestinian Islamic
Army is thought to have participated in the kidnappings of Israeli
soldier Sgt. Gilad Schalit in 2006 and BBC journalist Alan Johnston,
who was later released.
Late last year, Israel killed three
members of the group in separate airstrikes, alleging the men had
planned to attack Israeli and American targets in Egypt's Sinai
The Palestinian Islamic Army considers leaders of al
Qaeda as spiritual mentors and endorses its ideology, though it has
never admitted direct links to the group.
An Iraq-based al Qaeda
group had called for attacks on Egypt's Christians, who make up one
tenth of the population, before the church bombing.