Christians are jihadi’s “favorite prey” of ISIS, according to a video released Monday by an ISIS affiliate, showing the suicide bomber who slaughtered nearly 30 people in a Coptic cathedral late last year.
The masked man identified as Abu Abdallah al-Masri is seen promising jailed jihadists in Egypt that they will be freed soon when the group “liberates” Cairo.
A narrator rails in the 20-minute clip against Egypt’s nine million Christians, singling out figures like the Coptic pope and Christian businessmen as the terror group’s “favorite prey,” the Times of London reported.
Al-Masri – which means “The Egyptian”- was the nom-de-guerre ISIS gave the militant behind the suicide bombing at St. Mark’s Cathedral that killed 29 people, mostly women and children.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the bombing, its deadliest attack in Egypt outside the Sinai Peninsula, where it has been waging an insurgency since 2013.
Orthodox Copts, who comprise about 10 percent of Egypt’s 90 million people, are the Middle East’s largest Christian community.
“Finally, to my brothers in captivity: rejoice, you believers, do not falter or grieve. I swear to God we will very soon liberate Cairo and free you from captivity,” the militant said. “We will come bearing explosives, I swear we will, so rejoice you believers.”
The video contained a new logo reading “Islamic State in Egypt” – as opposed to “Sinai Province,” the original name for the ISIS presence in the country.
President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi originally identified the bomber as 22-year-old student Mahmoud Shafik, 22, who had been arrested in 2014 before joining an ISIS cell in the Sinai.
It is believed Abu Abdallah al-Masri was his assumed name, Reuters reported.
The Egyptian government has said the bomber supported the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, but the movement condemned the attack and accused el-Sisi’s administration of failing to protect the cathedral.
El-Sisi overthrew President Mohamed Morsi in a 2013 coup and has since outlawed the Brotherhood in a crackdown that has claimed the lives of hundreds of Islamists.
The narrator says Christians were no longer “dhimmis,” a reference to non-Muslims in Islam who enjoy a degree of state protection. Instead, the group describes the Christians as “infidels” who are empowering the West against Muslim nations.
Jihadists have increasingly targeted Christians in retaliation for their support of el-Sisi.
“God gave orders to kill every infidel,” one of the militants carrying an AK-47 assault rifle says in the video.
“Oh worshippers of the cross … the soldiers of the state are watching you,” another masked militant identified as Abu Zubair al-Masri says.
On Thursday, Coptic Christian teacher Gamal Tawfiq, 50, was shot dead by two militants on a motorbike, the Times of London reported.
On Feb. 12, suspected militants killed Bahgat Zakher, a Christian veterinary surgeon, in el-Arish.
And in late January, Coptic merchant Wael Milad was gunned down by militants who stormed his shop.
Source: /NY Post