Few Days after ISIS Threatened Egyptian Christians, Growing Attacks on Copts in Sinai

The rate of attacks against the Christians in Egypt, especially in North Sinai, has dramatically increased over the past few months.

Egyptian security officials,who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to reporters, said that he suspected Islamic militants gunned down a Coptic Christian inside his home in northern Sinai,” the sixth such killing in a month’s time in the restive region,” according to the Associated Press.

The militants stormed the home of Kamel Youssef, a plumber, the previous day and shot him to death in front of his wife and children in the town of el-Arish, said the security official.

In the same context, a suspected militants killed a Coptic Christian man and burned his son alive, then dumped their bodies on a roadside in el-Arish.

Few Days ago, the Islamic State (IS) posted a video in which it threatened the Christians in Egypt and vowed to launch attacks against them, saying that  “Cairo will soon be liberated” (from Christians).

The video showed Abu Abdullah Al-Masry, the man responsible for the deadly attack Coptic Cathedral bombing in Cairo which killed nearly 30 people.

A few days following the attack, ISIS claimed responsibility for it.

The attack was the largest by ISIS against civilians in Cairo.

In the new released video, a narrator described Christians as ISIS’s“favorite prey” and said that they do not enjoy the status of “dhimmis”, non-Muslims who were traditionally protected inside medieval Islamic empires.”

Instead, Christians are described as “infidels”.One of the jihadists featured in the video,“God gave orders to kill every infidel.”

As a result, the new released video infers that the militants are planning to carry out more terrorist attacks that will target Christians.

Violence and unrest have escalated in Northern Sinai as the Egyptian military and police forces have been the target of ongoing attacks which have increased after the ouster of Egypt’s first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi by a military coup in 2013.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, the militant group responsible for a majority of attacks on military personnel, aligned with the Islamic State group in November 2014, changing its name to “Sinai Province”.

Sinai Province has targeted Egypt’s security forces in various attacks, mostly roadside bombings, and ambushes, as well as operations against security checkpoints.