Was Mubarak’s regime responsible for bombing a Copt church?

coptchurch

Over the past two weeks, protestors around Egypt have been breaking into State Security Agency offices and carrying out documents they fear will be destroyed by government operatives. The records have already produced a few bombshells, but this tops the list:

Perhaps the most controversial document to surface was one that purports to lay out State Security’s involvement in a church bombing on New Year’s Day in Alexandria. The bombing killed 21 people and wounded 80, the worst violence against Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority in more than a decade.

The legitimacy of the document hasn’t been determined, but its distribution touched off protests Sunday in Cairo by hundreds of Coptic Christians.

Copts, especially those in Alexandria, had suspected state involvement in the bombing, noting that a stepped-up security force that was supposed to have protected the church had vanished before the bomb exploded.

According to the document, one of eight said to discuss attacks on churches, State Security used a jailed Islamist to help organize the plot, including details on the church’s entrances and exits. The document was dated Dec. 2, 2010, and was addressed to the interior minister. It referred to the church bombing as “Mission No. 77.”

Brian Saint-Paul

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Brian Saint-Paul was the editor and publisher of Crisis Magazine. He has a BA in Philosophy and an MA in Religious Studies from the Catholic University of America, in Washington. D.C. In addition to various positions in journalism and publishing, he has served as the associate director of a health research institute, a missionary, and a private school teacher. He lives with his wife in a historic Baltimore neighborhood, where he obsesses over Late Antiquity.

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