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Egyptian Authorities Thwart New Terrorist Plot | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Egyptian security forces inspect the scene of a bomb explosion at the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Coptic Orthodox Church in Cairo on December 11, 2016. AFP/KHALED DESOUKI

Cairo – Egyptian Security authorities announced it thwarted the biggest terrorist plot to target several churches and Christian Coptic officials in the governorates of the Delta following the two churches attack in Tanta and Alexandria.

Security sources said that the terrorist cell that was arrested included members of the terrorist Brotherhood organization and planned to execute several aggressions against the government during Christian holidays.

The sources added that the members had explosives and developed automatic weapons and worked according to instructions given from regional countries.

Since the ousted President Mohammed Morsi who belongs to the Brotherhood, Egypt witnessed series of terrorist attacks against police posts. Yet, the largest attack was against the two churches in Tanta and Alexandria, St. George and St. Mark on Palm Sunday.

Egyptian Prime Minister hinted a few days ago that certain external parties are behind the unstable situations Egypt is going through. He added that the government is confident that the latest two attacks were financed by external states which also supplied the latest technologies and explosives.

The ministry of interior issued a statement saying that the National Security Agency successfully identified 13 terrorists. The ministry said that the terrorists used farms located in the governorates of Giza and Alexandria to store weapons and armors and manufacture explosives until they are delivered to the executioners.

The ministry added that the farms are owned by members of the Brotherhood Shukri Nasr Mohammed al-Barr and Rajab Abdo Moghrabi, adding that the farms have series of underground tunnels.

Strategic and security expert general Sayyid Abdul Mohsen said that Egypt is facing a new generation of terrorism- completely different that the jihadi entities in Sinai- which requires a faster reaction from the security force. He added that most of those who executed the operations were not previously known by the security forces and hadn’t been involved in any violent actions.

Mohsen also said that these new members are not in direct contact with the brotherhood and receive their instructions via unfamiliar methods.

Authorities are still looking for 14 terrorist members who had been involved in the bombings that targeted the two churches.

General Mohsen said that the Brotherhood wants to send a message to the world that Egypt is infested with terrorist organizations and not just limited to Sinai.

From 2014 till 2016, terrorist organizations had staged about 1156 attacks in Egypt with about 88 percent of all attacks targeting Sinai.

UK-based Centre on Religion and Geopolitics issued a study saying that 50 percent of extremists were linked to the terrorist Brotherhood organization or other organizations affiliated with the Brotherhood.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the members of the Brotherhood cell received instructions from Brotherhood leadership in other regional countries to create chaos and instigate internal strife. The members were trained to create entities in Domiat, Bohayra, Alexandria and Kafr Sheikh to execute several attacks against governmental and Christian institutions and facilities as well as policemen and public figures.

National security investigations also revealed that the terrorists created massive amounts of explosives and collected weapons, landmines, grenades, 12 military explosives used in belts and a memory card which contained locations of targets in Egypt.