ISIS Supporters Celebrate Egypt Church Terror Bombing That Killed 27 Christians, Calling It a 'Blessed Act'
Did the Islamic State (ISIS) commit another heinous act of terrorism on Egyptian soil, principally targeting Christians?
Although no group has yet claimed responsibility for Sunday's bomb attack inside St. Peter Cathedral in Cairo, which killed at least 27 churchgoers, mostly women and children, ISIS supporters wasted no time in celebrating the deaths of Christian victims on social media, The Christian Post reported.
"God bless the person who did this blessed act," one ISIS supporter wrote on Telegram.
On Tuesday, the London-based newspaper Al Hayat received information from Egyptian security officials saying the terrorist who carried out the Cairo church bombing was affiliated with the Sinai branch of ISIS, YNet News reported. This was the same ISIS branch that claimed responsibility for downing a Russian passenger jet in the Sinai Peninsula in October last year, killing all 224 people on board.
The ISIS has victimised Coptic Christians before. In February 2015, it released a video showing the mass beheading of 21 Christian Copts.
The jihadist group has carried out various other attacks on Copts. In July an ISIS branch in the Sinai Peninsula reportedly shot and killed 46-year-old Coptic Priest Raphael Moussa in the town of El-Arish.
Officials said Sunday's church explosion was caused by a device containing at least 26 pounds of TNT.
The bomber appeared to have particularly targeted women and children based from the statement of a church member named Mena Adel. Speaking to International Christian Concern (ICC), a persecution watchdog group, Adel said, "the church bombing was planned and carried out meticulously. The explosion took place in the pews of the women."
This was attested by church worker Attiya Mahrous who told The Associated Press, "I found bodies, many of them women, lying on the pews, it was a horrible scene."
William Stark, ICC's Regional Manager, said that the latest attack was the worst assault on Egypt's Christian community in years.
"Entire Christian communities have been assaulted by mobs of Muslim radicals on four separate occasions in 2016 because there was a rumour that a church was being constructed. Now, we have witnessed one of the worst assaults on Egypt's Christian community in years. More must be done to protect Christians and their places of worship in Egypt," he urged.