Egyptian forensic experts inspect a window at the entrance of the Three Pyramids hotel in Cairo’s al-Harm district on January 7, 2016
(Image via Independent)
Islamic Emirate affiliate have released a statement in Arabic claiming responsibility for an attack which targeted a bus meant to transport Israeli Arabs. The statement from IS was posted on social media sites used by the group with the words “for those who say IS is Israeli agent, we have done attack on bus on Israeli people.” The incident took place in the vicinity of the Three Pyramids Hotel near to the Giza pyramids, Egypt, where gunmen on motorcycles opened fire damaging the vehicle and shattering hotel windows.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry was quoted in Haaretz as saying there were no casualties. They also said, “15 people who had gathered on a side street near the hotel threw home-made fireworks in the direction of security forces stationed there” and that they had “apprehended one person who was hiding behind the hotel.”
Jerusalem Post stated,
“Islamic State said its members carried out the shooting in response to a call by the group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to target Jews ‘everywhere’.
The group said in a statement released on the internet that light arms were used in the attack.”
Times of Israel reported, “in a statement carried by IS supporters on Twitter Friday, the group claimed the attack a day earlier left dead and injured among tourists and the security officers protecting the hotel.”
IS statement claiming responsibility for attack (Arabic)
There are concerns as to how such incidents will affect the Tourist Industry in Egypt which has experienced previous attacks. These included a suicide bomber who detonated explosives near the ancient Karnak Temple in the southern city of Luxor injuring 3 Egyptians in June 2014 and an attack where a motorcyle gunman opened fire killing 2 tourist police at Giza.
Regarding the presence of IS in Egypt, the Independent reported.
“Egypt’s most active terrorist group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, pledged allegiance to Isis in 2014 and started calling itself Wilayat Sinai.
Its jihadists are mainly active in the Sinai Peninsula, where they claimed to have bombed a Russian passenger plane with 224 people on board in October, and have also claimed responsibility for attacks in Cairo, the western desert and Nile delta.”
Bombing of Islamic State madrassa
IS also drew attention to the bombing of a madrassa within Islamic State (dated January 7th, Wilayah Salahuddin or Wilayah Dajla) and posted a video showing damage to buildings and appeared to show religious texts scattered in the rubble covering a wide area with a clear up operation ongoing. Qasim Khurasani linked to IS said,
“after these types of attacks many casualties happened, even many peoples were dead, and these types of attacks have been doing by kuffars/Crusaders/NATO/Syrian, Iranian, Iraqi and their allies from many years in Syria and Iraq so this is happened on daily basis and this is true and this shows the time of The Arrival of Imam Mehdi and Hazrat Essa A.S and the Anti Christ Dajjal”
This war is totally Holy war, Crusade and Islam War, this is religious war so we should realize.”
IS warnings to media
Qasim Khurasani linked to IS also had a warning for media not to show “vulgarity” saying,
“we are Giving threat to T.V Channels, your showing vulgarity in the media, we will kill you where we find you!! Inshallah.”
He also released a statement alleging the following and advising media to check stories with IS,
“To those Media Persons/Anchors/Analysts/Researchers who are truly reporting Facts and Figures about the whole world situation and specially The Islamic State News, my request is Western Media and also Pakistani and India media is doing false propaganda, so without any confirmation you do not have to believe on these media channels and news papers about IS on Social Media, so this is what I am talking about So before publishing any article either the news is True or False, you have to co-ordinate with IS persons or people are belonging to IS, so this is my request.”
Journalists, researchers and analysts experience practical difficulties confirming stories as links to IS media are often removed or hacked and go unanswered at times.
Khurasani dismissed a story related to an IS member Ali Saqr, 21, allegedly publicly executing his mother, Lena al-Qasem, 45 for “apostasy” in Raqqa, Syria. It was claimed she had asked him to leave the group. Khurasani said, it was “propaganda” and “its not true”.
It was not possible to confirm or deny another story where a Muslim leader in Bosnia alleged that IS had threatened him and claims to have troops ready to attack the country and Europe. Khurasani was not aware of this particular claim.
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad . She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.