CAIRO – 15 August 2018: The head of the Egyptian Union of Human Rights Organizations (EUHRO), Naguib Ghobrael, said that his organization along with other international unions have filed an international lawsuit against the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) over setting fire to 42 churches five years ago.
The suit demands the outlawed organization pay compensation worth 5 billion Euros ($5.6 million) over damages caused to the churches. The incidents date back to the riots erupted by Brotherhood supporters while the police was dispersing two sit-ins in Raba’a el-Adawiya and Al-Nahda squares in August 2013.
Supporters of deposed President Mohamed Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood clash with anti-Mursi protesters during a march in Shubra street in Cairo October 4, 2013. REUTERS/ Mohamed Abd El Ghany
“The lawsuit has also requested arresting a number of Brotherhood leaders who are at large abroad over their involvement in damaging acts,” Ghobrael told Egypt Today.
According to Ghobrael, the organizations suing the Brotherhood international group contacted Interpol over the arrest of the fugitive members, including Mahmoud Ezzat, the Chargé d’Affaires of the Brotherhood. Interpol does not send officers into countries to arrest wanted individuals, but arrests in each Interpol member country are carried out by national police in accordance with the law.
Since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi on July 3, 2013, several Muslim Brotherhood leaders and supporters were arrested and tried over terror-related charges, while others made their way outside the country, escaping prosecution.
Egypt has repeatedly sent requests to Interpol, which in return renewed its red notices for wanted individuals, hosted in different countries abroad, including Qatar.
File Photo: A number of defendants standing inside a Cairo Court deck during their trial – AFP
On Saturday, a failed bombing attack took place near Virgin Mary church in Mostorod, Cairo. The suicide attack is believed to have been thwarted due to tight security measures that made the bomber retract. The incident did not result in civilian causalities, except for the suicide bomber who was killed right after the explosive belt blew up before he could reach the church.
Investigations into the incident revealed that a terrorist cell tried to target the church with an explosive bomb containing poisonous nails to cause fatal injuries to the largest number of victims in the vicinity.
Sources said that extremists received training through social media on how to manufacture explosive devices using toxic nails, commissioned by terrorist leaders who reside abroad.
CAIRO - 15 August 2018: Investigations with the terrorist cell that tried to target the Virgin Mary church in Mostorod revealed that the extremists had cloaked the nails used in the manufacture of the explosive bomb with poisonous materials to cause fatal injuries in the largest number of victims in the scene.
Churches located in Upper Egypt took the lion’s share of vandalism. Minya had the upsetting distinction of being ranked first in the attacks with the Church of St. Mina of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Church of Saint Mark, and Pastor of the Church of the Virgin Mary and Anba Abram in Daljah all being attacked.
Interpol building – AFP
The security guards of the Minya churches share their harrowing experiences during the attack in the following statements.
“I sat in the church until I heard sounds and chants coming in the direction of the church so I hid behind the door,” said Attia. He described a pickup truck slamming into the church’s door until it knocked it over. Hundreds of men then stormed into the church carrying weapons, explosives and Molotov cocktails and carried all that they could and left, Attia said.
The Brotherhood members regarded attacking the churches as their revenge against Coptic Egyptians who made their stance against the Brotherhood and support for the Armed Forces quite clear during the June 30 revolution.
All the churches that were attacked during the dispersal have since been rebuilt or renovated, according to Bishop Baiman, president of the Crisis Committee at the Holy Synod, and the supervisor of the restoration missions.
Drafted in 1986 under the title of "Building Bases of Support", a formerly classified document by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) unveiled the radical approach of the outlawed Brotherhood and how it threatens the national quests for social cohesion, and that most of the terrorist groups and organizations still carry their terrorist credo, adopted and expressed in the books of the group’s co-founder and fundamentalist thinker and writer Sayyid Qotb.
"The Brotherhood has been successful in building a fundamental network through the recruitment of educators, students, journalists, other professionals and businessmen," said the document, adding that "increased factionalism is the Brotherhoods' most serious problem."
Ayman Abul Ela, head of the parliamentary committee of the Free Egyptians Party, said that the Muslim Brotherhood has maintained a violent and radical approach and that many extremist groups have already spun off of the mother Brotherhood.
CAIRO - 14 August 2018: After a 32-year-old classified document by the CIA on the growing influence of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has been lately revealed, a number of parliamentarians voiced their condemnation of the Brotherhood's terrorist credo.
Abul Ela added that the United States has several similar documents in hand about the terrorist Brotherhood and is well aware of their involvement in terrorist acts.
Ahmad al-Awadi, a member of the parliamentarian committee of the National Defense and Security, said that the recent CIA documents on the Muslim Brotherhood come in line with the Egyptian political leadership's statements about the Brotherhood’s engagement in terrorist acts.
The Military Court delayed on Monday the prosecution of 304 defendants over the attempted assassination of Assistant Attorney General Zakaria Abdel Aziz.
The defendants belong to Hasm movement which is considered the armed group of the Muslim Brotherhood. The defendants include Mohammed Ali Bishr, a member of the Brotherhood's Guidance Bureau, and other leaders of the group.
The Supreme State Security relates the movement of Hasm to 17 terrorist incidents that targeted army officers, police, clerics, and prosecutors.
It said the head of the “central operations chamber” of the movement, Ahmed Mohamed Abdel Hafiz, left to Turkey, aided by a number of members of the Brotherhood group that include Ali Batikh, Majdi Shalash and Mohamed Ahmed Abdel Hadi.
Additional reporting by Dunya Hassanein and Nada Mostafa