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Published on Dec 16, 2016
Life for the Coptic Christians of Egypt has considerably improved since President el-Sisi came to power. Honouring the victims by way of a state funeral and three days of national mourning is a powerful signal that this was not an attack on a minority community but an attack on all Egyptians. The attack on Saint Mark’s Cathedral is a stark reminder of the protection that this vulnerable community needs and the security threats that Egypt faces more generally on a daily basis.
Claime by ISIS, this atrocity is an early warning sign of the trend that we will see over the coming year as ISIS shifts its focus to North Africa and the Sahel, and Mosul and Raqqa are squeezed, and as their strongholds in Syria are weakened they will go to other places including, I am afraid, Europe.
In its statement ISIS threatened to escalate its war on polytheism and to extend its attacks beyond the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a strategic partner of the European Union and is battling to contain the threats of high unemployment, a struggling economy, terrorism and the political transition following the fall of Mubarak. We in the European Union now need to support Egypt in these struggles and to better understand the threats that it faces.