Egypt says it has foiled bombing attempts

Daily Star Egypt Staff
4 Min Read

CAIRO: The government said on Wednesday it had arrested a group of 22 militant Islamists planning bomb attacks on tourist targets, a gas pipeline near Cairo and Muslim and Christian religious leaders.

The opposition Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks political change through peaceful means, said the government would try to use the report to extend emergency law, which would otherwise expire in June after almost 25 years in force. The Interior Ministry said in a statement the underground organization called itself the Victorious Group and had members in suburbs northeast and south of the capital. Information, documents and interviews … confirmed that they were studying carrying out terrorist operations against tourist targets, the gas pipeline on the Greater Cairo ring road and some sensitive sites through bombings, it said. They were also studying targeting some Muslim and Christian religious figures and … what they called degenerate youth in tourist areas, it added. Essam El-Erian, head of the Brotherhood s political department, said the report attributed unusually ambitious aims to what appeared to be a small and poorly financed group. What is sought is a pretext to extend the state of emergency, which is now rejected by 114 members of parliament, he told the Arabic satellite television station Al Jazeera.

The statement listed 22 members, led by a 26-year-old humanities student named Ahmed Mohamed Ali Gabr, and an Interior Ministry official said they were all in custody. The ministry released pictures of the arrested men holding boards bearing their names. It said they had downloaded from the Internet information on how to make explosives and poisons but did not indicate they had succeeded in making them. It did not mention any weapons. The ministry said Gabr, known by the nickname Abu Musab, and his assistant adopted the approach of jihad based on takfiri fundamentalist ideas. Takfiris say that Muslims who disagree with their ideas are not true Muslims. (They had) deviant extremist ideas far from true Islam and a mistaken and perverse response to international and regional events, the statement added. The group was trying to buy a plot of land in El Saff, about 60 km south of Cairo, as a training base, and had been in contact with groups abroad to seek help in sending members abroad to fight, it added. The 22 members, all male, are aged between 18 and 31. They included 10 students, a preacher, an electrician, a restaurateur and the owner of a computer shop. An Islamist group planted two bombs in Cairo in April 2005, killing four people and wounding many others. The bombings appeared to be aimed at foreign tourists. A separate group attacked the Red Sea tourist resort of Sharm El-Sheikh in July, killing at least 67 people. Some information from the government suggested that the Red Sea bombers also had militant Islamist views. Reuters

Share This Article
Leave a comment