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ICC Note:

In an attempt to deflect condemnation for attacking a mosque in Sinai and killing over 300 Muslims, ISIS supporters are alleging that Christians are responsible for the attack and the militants have threatened retaliation against Egyptian Christians. As part of this fabrication, ISIS opened a Telegram channel called the Sons of Jesus Movement which claimed that the attack was a revenge operation to attacks against Christians. This crude fabrication is not the first time that Islamic extremists have falsely accused Christians. However, it is significant that ISIS would deflect responsibility in this manner. Egyptian Christians are evermore on edge as ISIS continues to single them out for targeted persecution.

 

12/07/2017 Egypt (MEMRI) –  In recent days, Islamic State (ISIS) supporters have renewed their threats against Egypt’s Christians, vowing attacks during the upcoming holiday season, and using a new pretext – the allegation that a Christian group was behind the deadly attack on the mosque in the village of Al-Rawdah in northern Sinai a few weeks ago. More than 300 people were killed in the attack, responsibility for which has not been claimed by any group. ISIS itself has been silent about the attack, while groups associated with Al-Qaeda have condemned it.

On December 2, 2017, a Telegram channel under the name “The Sons of Jesus Movement” was opened. The channel posted a statement signed by the group claiming responsibility for the November 24 attack on the mosque in Al-Rawdah, saying it was a revenge operation carried out by the group in response to attacks against Christians. It promised to provide photographic evidence from the Al-Rawdah attack at an appropriate time. However, no evidence of the existence of such a group can be found from any other source. Furthermore, the statement was apparently first disseminated by ISIS supporters. The statement seems, therefore, to be a crude fabrication by ISIS supporters in an attempt to deflect blame for the horrific attack on the mosque.[1]

Pro-ISIS channels on Telegram were quick to take advantage of the alleged “Sons of Jesus” statement. On December 5, 2017, a Telegram channel associated with ISIS’s Egypt Province posted a message threatening Christians in Egypt with revenge. The message, signed by Salah Al-Din Al-Fateh, reads:[3]

“A black holiday upon you, oh Christians of Egypt, and upon whoever brought you. With Allah’s permission, we will take revenge on you, and for the actions of your patrons – the bombing, shelling and destruction of homes and mosques on the heads of innocent subjects of the rule of the caliphate. By announcing your responsibility for the attack on the mosque of Al-Rawdah you opened on yourselves the gates of hell. Even if your announcement is fake, it came at an appropriate time. In any case we are ordered to lie in wait for you, as you lie in wait for us. However, the reward goes to he who believes in Allah alone and wages jihad for the sake of raising His word and His law.

With Allah’s permission, security, individual and military operations will continue to land on your heads in your impure churches and in your filthy houses of worship. From now on, you will not even feel secure in your own homes, until security is the reality for Muslims feel in our lands of Egypt and Sinai in accordance with our glorious faith, without having tyrants or criminal infidels deprive us of it. With Allah’s permission, you will come subdued and humbled to hand us the jizyah [poll tax for Christians and Jews]. The feeble tyrant’s army, which is afraid even of its own shadow, will not be of help to you…”

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