Bombed church was terror target

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Egyptian Christian coptics protest outside the al-Abasseya Cathedral following the New Year’s Eve car bomb attack on a church in Alexandria in which 21 people, mostly coptic worshippers, were killed / AFP Source: AFP

AN al Qaeda website identified in December the church in Egypt which was bombed on New Year’s Day as among designated as targets.

Al Qiddissin (The Saints) church in Alexandria, where 21 people were killed and 79 wounded on New Year’s Eve, was on a list posted by the al Qaeda-linked Shumukh al Islam website of 50 Coptic churches across Egypt.

Coptic churches in several European countries, including France, Germany and Britain, also figured on the list.

A message announcing “bomb attacks against churches during Christmas … when they will be most crowded” was posted alongside the list of would-be targets.

“Get up and give up sleep,” said the message.

“This is an important notice on bomb attacks against churches during Christmas,” it said.

It urged “every Muslim who cares about the honor of his sisters to bomb these churches during Christmas celebrations, when they will be most crowded”.

No one claimed responsibility for the Alexandria church attack, which came two months after al Qaeda operatives in Iraq claimed responsibility for a deadly Baghdad church hostage-taking incident.

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