The Islamic State or ISIS released a new video threatening to launch more attacks against Egypt’s Christians.
The 20-minute video said the December attack in Cairo by a suicide bomber was “only the beginning” and vowed more will come. The video also said Coptic Christians are the extremist group’s “favorite prey,” the Associated Press reported.
ISIS showed the person responsible for the bombing of a crowded church in Cario last December, 22-year-old suicide bomber Mahmoud Shafiq Mohammed Mustafa, whom ISIS named Abu Abdullah al-Masri. The blast killed 25 people, most of whom were women. At the time, ISIS claimed that the bombing killed and injured 80 people, adding that it will continue to “war against apostates.”
To send its message more clearly, the terror group included in the video footages of prominent Christian figures like the Coptic Christian Pope, priests, businessmen and judges, particularly those who are known to speak out against Egypt’s Muslims.
A narrator speaking at the video said Christians are no longer regarded as “dhimmis” but will be treated as “infidels” who incite the West against Muslim-majority countries.
"God gave orders to kill every infidel," an ISIS fighter holding an Ak-47 said in the video.
Christians are among the religious minority in Egypt, comprising only 10 percent of the population. They supported the military overthrow of former Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in 2013 in favor of now Pres. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.
Because of this, attacks against the minority Christians by the Islamist insurgency have increased in recent years. The Islamist insurgency group behind these attacks pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2014.
ISIS warned Egyptian Christians that they are “watching” them.
"Oh worshippers of the cross ... the soldiers of the state are watching you," a masked ISIS fighter identified as Abu Zubair al-Masri said.
A few months prior to the Cairo bombing, ISIS led an attack at a security checkpoint in central Sinai that left 12 people dead and eight others wounded. It was the first major attack in the area.
In early 2016, Islamist militants attacked a beachside hotel in Hurghada. Witnesses said two men went inside the Bella Vista hotel and raised an ISIS flag. They stabbed three tourists and were planning to carry out a suicide bombing, but one of them was shot by the police while the other was wounded.
Egypt falls on number 21 of Open Doors’ World Watch List for 2017. While persecution in the country is not as severe as in other countries, Christians are often discriminated against in certain instances, like those involving church building construction or repair. Some Christians also experience being attacked in their homes.