Cairo – While Egypt announced on Monday that a suicide bomber was behind Sunday’s explosion that shook Egypt’s Coptic Christian church, Cairo alluded to take swift measures facing the threat of terrorism.
Speaking at a state funeral for 24 victims killed in the explosion, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said the suicide bomber is a 22-year-old Shafik Mahmoud Mohamed Mostafa. He said security forces already arrested three men and a woman involved in the attack and were seeking another two fugitives.
“This strike really hurt us and caused us much pain, but it will not break us,” al-Sisi said.
While no party has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, armed groups similar to Harakat Hasm and Liwa’ al-Thawra believed to be linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, denied on Monday being responsible for the explosion and said in a statement they “do not target civilians.”
Meanwhile, Egypt’s Parliament alluded on Monday to introduce legislative amendments that could speed up the steps taken in cases linked to terrorism.
The proposal suggests the 1950’s criminal procedure law and 2014’s presidential decree on protection of public property, be amended to allow all terrorism-related crimes to be referred to military courts.
Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel-Aal said that the constitution could be amended if necessary to help Egypt halt terrorist acts. The Speaker said: “If it has become necessary that the constitution be amended to allow terrorism cases to be referred to military courts, parliament will not hesitate to ask for it.”
A security source at the National Security Department said: “The suicide bomber is a member of an extremist terrorist group and was previously sentenced in absentia in a case linked to street protests.”
The suicide bomber had also participated in the Muslim Brotherhood protests in 2013 that followed the removal of former President Mohammed Morsi, the source said.