Egypt Ties Attack on Coptic Church to Muslim Brotherhood in Qatar

© REUTERS/ Amr Abdallah Dalsh

© REUTERS/ Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Sputniknews – 15/12/16

The Egyptian Ministry of Interior suspects members of the Muslim Brotherhood who fled to Qatar of involvement in the terror attack on a Coptic church that killed 25 people, it said on Tuesday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to preliminary investigation, the attack was organized by 30-year-old Mohab Qassem, who traveled to Qatar in 2015 where he was offered financial and logistical support by fugitive leaders of the Muslin Brotherhood, who have been residing in the country since 2013, the Ministry’s statement said as cited by the Al Wahda newspaper. Qassem then returned to Egypt and was trained to use various types of weapons and design explosive devices.

In Cairo, Qassem allegedly recruited 22-year-old Mahmoud Shafik Mostafa who is believed to be the suicide bomber that carried out the deadly attack. He had been earlier arrested for cooperation with the Muslim Brotherhood but was released in May 2014.

Police searched the living quarters where Shafik had been hiding for the last months, with two more suicide belts found in his apartment, the newspaper said. On Monday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi said four people — three men and a woman — had been detained in connection with the attack, with police searching for two more suspects. A strong blast hit the Coptic Christian cathedral complex in Cairo on Sunday. This is the worst attack on Coptic christian community since 2011, when a suicide bomber killed 23 people outside a church in Alexandria.