April 15, 2020
Egypt faces unprecedented terrorist challenges associated with efforts to combat the Corona virus, the Observatory for Terrorism and Human Rights at the Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue said in a statement Wednesday. This has become clear during the confrontation that took place yesterday between the security forces and a cell belonging to the terrorist organization ISIL in the Amiriya area, east of Cairo, which resulted in the death of the armed elements and the martyrdom of Lt. Col. Muhammad Al-Hofi.
The Observatory called upon the UN counter-terrorism agencies to cooperate with Egypt in combating the threat and to reconsider the delay in the inclusion of the Terrorist Brotherhood on the terrorist lists because of its full support for these operations, which is shown through the continued media support provided to these elements from media outlets broadcast from the state of Turkey and provided by people belonging to the group, and claim that terrorist elements are just civilians in opposition to the government despite their apparent affiliation with ISIL, the latest of which was the Amiriya cell, which was targeting churches.
According to preliminary information, the ISIL cell was preparing for a terrorist act that coincides with Christian holidays, and its position in the Amiriya area was based on the existence of an environment that fosters extremist ideology inhabiting the area, as one of the strongholds of the radical Salafist movement and the emergence of leaders of the jihad and Jemaah Islamiyah groups, as well as the region witnessed multiple incidents of attacks against churches during the 1990s.
The Observatory confirmed that the members of the group were seeking to exploit the preoccupation of the security forces in the operations of the fight against the Corona virus, and to carry out terrorist operations targeting Christians during the celebrations of the feasts of resurrection, which indicates the stability and rigidity of terrorist targets among the elements of the organization, which is always ready to carry out terrorist operations against Christians and the determination of the leaders of the organization on their approach to stirring sectarian strife, and exploiting the spread of radical Brotherhood and Salafist literature and atonement towards other religions among young elements affected by the group’s ideas and recruiting them to committing these operations.
The Observatory said terrorist elements had taken a densely populated popular area as a starting area for their terrorist operations, and that they had used civilians living in the area as human shields to disrupt the advance of security services. The information about the incident also indicates that children were used as guides to warn the cell members in case the security forces appeared.
The Observatory praised the security forces’ keenness during the raid on the lives of civilians and their use of loudspeakers to warn them during the exchange of fire with terrorist elements so that the battle with terrorist elements would not cause any civilian casualties. Top of Form