Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - The Egyptian justice has accused some compatriots of being in touch with Islamic State jihadists (Daesh) and involved in the massacre of 21 Egyptian Copts killed in Libya in the winter of 2015 (see Fides 16/02/2015).
Prosecution had referred 20 people to court for forming a terrorist "cell" affiliated to the Islamic State group in Libya, and believe that the 20 Egyptians received military training at the Islamic State camps in Libya. The new accusation appears significant due to the motivation that the Public Ministry hypothesizes at the origin of the horrendous massacre perpetrated on a Libyan beach: the 21 Copts were killed "to lure the army into fighting elements of the Islamic State in Libya, who controlled part of the Libyan territory".
In fact, at dawn on January 16, 2015, just hours before the online release of the macabre video of the execution of the 21 Copts, Egyptian army planes had attacked and bombed positions of the jihadists in Libya, especially in the area of Derna. "Vengeance for the blood of Egyptians – is what was written in a press release of the Egyptian armed forces with regards to the raids in Libya - is an absolute right and will be applied". Egypt claims the right to defend its security and stability from criminal acts committed by "terrorist elements and groups within and outside the country".
The 21 Copts killed were abducted in Libya in early January 2015. "The video that shows their execution – said Anba Antonios Aziz Mina, Coptic Catholic Bishop of Guizeh to Agenzia Fides after the massacre - was built as a chilling cinematic staging, with the intention of spreading terror. And yet, in that evil fiction product and of bloody horror, one sees that some of the martyrs, in that moment of their barbaric execution, repeat 'Lord Jesus Christ'. The name of Jesus were the last words on their lips. As in the passion of the early martyrs, they entrusted themselves to Him who would receive them shortly after". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 29/11/2016)