Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions?

Read more

FOCUS

Pakistan's Ahmadis living in fear of extremist attacks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users show solidarity with Iraqi Christians

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Gilles Kepel, Islamic and Arab world specialist

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Argentina braced for another debt default

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'What would you do?'

Read more

  • Scores killed as Israel ramps up Gaza bombardment

    Read more

  • US and EU slap Russia with fresh sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

  • Calls mount to ban France’s ‘violent’ Jewish Defence League

    Read more

  • Venezuela: Hugo Chavez’s ‘little bird’ strikes again

    Read more

  • France extradites suspected Jewish Museum shooter to Belgium

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Rare Sri Lankan leopard cubs born in French zoo

    Read more

  • France evacuates its nationals from Libya

    Read more

  • US says Russia violated arms treaty by testing cruise missile

    Read more

  • Argentina in last-ditch effort to avert default

    Read more

  • Karzai’s cousin killed in Afghan suicide attack

    Read more

  • Libya oil tanker fire blazes out of control

    Read more

  • In pictures: From Gaza to Mosul, bittersweet end of Ramadan for Muslims

    Read more

  • Moroccan police arrest French al Qaeda recruiter

    Read more

Middle east

Egypt suspects al Qaeda link in church bombing

Video by Kethevane GORJESTANI , Katharyn GILLAM

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-01-03

Egypt has begun screening people arriving from countries where al Qaeda is active after finding that the militant group may have been behind the bombing of a Coptic church in Alexandria on New Year's Day.

REUTERS - Egypt is screening people who arrived recently from countries where al-Qaeda is known to recruit after early findings suggested the militant network was behind a New Year’s church bombing, security sources said.

A suspected suicide bomber killed 21 people and wounded 97 others outside a Coptic church in Alexandria during a New Year’s midnight service. The authorities have been holding seven people for questioning.

FRANCE 24

The bombing has prompted hundreds of Christians in Muslim-majority Egypt to protest in Alexandria and Cairo against what they say is the failure of the authorities to protect them.

Egyptian officials have said there were indications “foreign elements” were behind the blast and said the attack seemed to have been the work of a suicide bomber.

”The security forces have confirmed that finger of suspicion indicates that the culprit was a suicide bomber linked to al Qaeda,” a security source, who asked not to be identified, said.

Another source said police had stepped up security at Egypt’s ports and airports to prevent anyone who might have been involved from fleeing as the investigation continues

“Security is preparing a list of those who have arrived in Egypt recently from countries where al Qaeda is known to recruit operatives,” the second security source said.

The attack came two months after al Qaeda-linked insurgents in Iraq attacked a Baghdad church and threatened to strike Coptic churches in Egypt, accusing the Egyptian Christian denomination of mistreating female converts to Islam.

Two weeks ago, a statement on Islamist websites urged Muslims to attack Coptic churches in Egypt, as well as among Egyptian Christian communities in Germany, France, Britain and elsewhere around Christmas, which Orthodox Copts celebrate on
Jan. 7.

A statement after the blast on another Islamist website read: “This is the first drop of heavy rain, hand over our prisoners and turn to Islam.” No group was named.

The German government said it had warned Coptic Christians living in Germany about the risk of possible attacks, just hours before the New Year’s blast in Alexandria.

“I can confirm that on New Year’s Eve the interior ministry contacted the bishop of the Coptic Christians in Germany, Anba Damian, to tell him about this risk,” German Interior Ministry spokesman Stephan Paris told reporters.

Date created : 2011-01-03

COMMENT(S)