CAIRO – The Egyptian government has released footage showing the suicide bombing that tore through a Cairo church during Sunday Mass, including images of the alleged attacker.
The attack killed 25 people, mainly women and children, and has not been claimed by any armed group. President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi on Monday identified the bomber as 22-year-old Mahmoud Shafiq Mohammed Mustafa.
The video is a recording of CCTV footage and shows the street across from the chapel adjacent to St. Mark's Cathedral, seat of Egypt's ancient Coptic Orthodox Church. It shows a dark figure crossing the street and walking through the gates of the church. Moments later, the blast sends clouds of dust and debris through the church windows.
It was among the deadliest attacks in recent memory to target Egypt's Coptic minority, which makes up around 10 percent of the population and was largely supportive of the military overthrow of a freely elected Islamist president in 2013. El-Sissi led the overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi, a senior figure in the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group.
Since then, Islamic militants have carried out scores of attacks, mainly targeting the security forces, while the government has waged a wide-scale crackdown on dissent.
The Interior Ministry said late Monday that Mustafa belonged to a terror cell founded by an Egyptian doctor and funded by Muslim Brotherhood leaders living in exile in Qatar. It said the cell was tasked with staging attacks that would stir sectarian strife.
The Brotherhood condemned the bombing.