Friday May 27, 2017. Egypt. 28 Coptic Christians murdered today, most probably by terrorists, though no terrorist agency has yet to claim responsibility at the time of writing this post. Yesterday I wrote about children murdered in Manchester by a suicide bomber who was likely a soldier for Daesh. Today’s attack in Egypt included 2 very young children (ages 2 and 4) among the dead. The world should weep about this travesty. But few will I fear.
Besides the dead another 22 were injured, when the bus they were riding in was sprayed by bullets from weapons wielded by masked gunmen in pickup trucks. Authorities have said between 8 and ten individuals wearing military style uniforms perpetrated the attack. All the victims, both the dead and the injured were and are Coptic Christians travelling to visit a monastery about 220 KM south of the Egyptian capital.
Today’s mass murder comes on the eve of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. I am not making a necessary connection between this holy time and the attack, but it is difficult to avoid suggesting the possibility. Indeed recently Egypt’s Coptic Christians have emerged as top targets for Daesh and other terrorist groups. In the past month bombings occurred at two Coptic churches as worshippers were celebrating Palm Sunday. Dozens were killed and about 100 were injured. Daesh claimed responsibility for both church targets.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi announced almost immediately that Egypt sent warplanes to pound terrorist training camps in neighboring Libya. al-Sisi said Egypt would not hesitate to strike at terrorists wherever they could be found. Several Copts, relatives of some of the dead, spoke out against the Egyptian government saying not enough is being done to protect Christians living in the largely Muslim country.
There is a side issue to this report of terrorism upon Egyptian Christians. I am a retired journalist as many of my readers know. I have seen FB claims by some saying this terror event has been largely ignored by mainstream media. Based on my somewhat abbreviated search I have to say that claim cannot be supported. I find that a fairly wide variety of media sources have reported the event with stories that have essentially corroborated each other as to relevant and pertinent facts.
Though no terrorist group has yet claimed responsibility it seems possible that the attack was carried out by so-called home-grown terrorists. That is becoming an increasingly favored strategy by Daesh who encourages locally produced attacks all over the world.
The idea of home-grown terrorism is a theme explored in my second novel, a work still in progress, “A Prairie Vendetta”. That story takes place in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan in the environs surrounding the capital city Regina. A group of disillusioned Metis young men led by a megalomaniac motorcycle gang member contemplates a kidnaping that ends with murder as they pursue imagined wrongs committed by the government of Canada against their people. The Canadian Anti-terrorism Service team led by Sean-Guy O’Dwyer-Lariviere sends one of their members undercover in a desperate attempt to resolve the issue. Danger exists around every corner.
Thanks for your support friends. Good Reading
Ron Stotyn, PhD