Sunday, June 4, 2017

Minya Massacre : What we should say and ask (Graphic)

A week passed following the horrifying Minya massacre on Friday where at least 29 Egyptian Christians including children were killed by militants while they were on their way to visit an ancient Christian Orthodox Monastery in Minya's Western desert.

On Sunday, the infamous Daesh claimed their responsibility for the attack unsurprisingly claiming that they killed "warrior Christians" !!! There were Children, women and elderly in that convoy !!
This is the third terrorist attack targeting Egyptian Christians since December by that death cult.
Daesh claimed its responsibility for the bombing of El-Botroseya Church in Cairo in December and the Churches bombings in Alexandria and Gharbia in April.

It also had declared that it would target Egyptian Christians at least twice.
The first time was in February as it published a video repeating the infamous ultra-Egyptian Islamist rhetoric when it comes to accusations of the Christian community in the country.
The video is technically produced to justify its old as well upcoming attacks against the biggest Christian population in a Muslim country in the Middle East.
The second warning which is the most recent in early May was in an interview with an unidentified leader of Daesh-affiliated group Daesh in one of their online publications.
That alleged leading figure in that terrorism franchise warned of further attacks against Egyptian Christians urging Egyptian Muslims to stay from Christian gatherings.
That request to Muslims came after at least three Muslim people were killed in the churches' bombings in April.

First question about security

Despite warnings , there has not been enough protection to the Egyptian Christians and their gathering places and the proof is what we saw in front of us last Saturday.

Since knowing about the attack in Minya, I have been asking myself on why that Christian Convoy was not escorted by security till the monastery in the Middle of the desert.

That monastery is in the Middle of the desert inside Bani Suef governorate, it is like the gate to Egypt's Western desert.
The location of the monastery
The location of the monastery, the red line shows
El-Edwa City in Al-Minya governorate. 
The road to the monastery is not paved or equipped.
There are no clinics or emergency checkpoints to help people on that road if there is a car accident, let alone there is no police presence there.
Here is a graphic video at the attack's location showing the victims' bodies in the middle of nowhere.

A video from the attack site showing the victims bodies scattered over the ground. According to local media outlets, the attackers stopped the bus, asked the passengers about their religious believes and then they killed men first and opened fire on the rest! Video's credit for Page " صوت من السماء"
Posted by Mina Thabet on Friday, May 26, 2017
This video can give an idea about what I mean.
There is no even a mobile phone network coverage in that place.
I do not understand how no one paid attention to the fact that we got monasteries in the Western desert and that Daesh and other militant groups had its share of operations there in the past three years.
Thus monasteries and its visitors as well monks need protection.
The Minya governor says that the monks in the monasteries rejected security protection.
I do not know if he is saying the truth or not but at least that outside the monastery should have been secured.

The road should have secured. The buses should have been secured.
One would have thought that the security agencies in Egypt would have paid attention to the monasteries after the Saint Catherine monastery checkpoint attack.
Yes, it did not target the monastery itself but it would have triggered an alarm that those isolated places can be on the terrorists' radar.
Police checkpoint at the attack's location from 8 days
Needless to say, now the Egyptian government will either act and appoint security to monasteries in the Middle of nowhere or it will order the Churches in the country to stop those religious trips.
Knowing how the regime thinks, I will say that it will go for the second option.
The Egyptian House of Representatives has not summoned yet the minister of interior to question him in a hearing over this failure.
In fact, liberal and Christian MP Emad Gad wanted to address the parliament about the massacre and yet the speaker refused to let him speak for a reason beyond me.

Where it happened and when it happened

I can not get over the idea of how that terrorist group thought about that monastery in a rural area like that and how they planned to attack that convoy in that time.
Most of the Muslims in Egypt do not know about the locations of the Christian monasteries in the rural areas outside their governorates or their cities. Yet, it is easy to know the monasteries with a quick search online.
The big question is how the terrorists knew about the convoy and when it was going to reach the monastery. It was not a random thing as we are speaking two buses coming two different governorates "Bani Suef" and "Minya"

That awful massacre happened in El-Minya governorate which has a long history of sectarian tensions and clashes as well its share from radical terrorist organizations since the 1980s.
It also has got extremely big Christian population that we have full Christian rural villages there.
Following the dispersal of Pro-Morsi sit-in in Rabaa and Al-Nahda, the governorate witnessed horrifying 48 hours attacks against Christian houses, properties, and churches.
The attackers were not only angry pro-Morsi supporters but well-known thugs who found the chaos was a perfect time to steal and destroy.

The monasteries in the governorate survived the attack because they were far away.
Even the current El-Minya governor, a former state security police general has got a sectarian history and has not done much anything new when it comes to recent sectarian incidents.
He won't do anything as well because he has been working according to that old fashioned sick instructions manual given to all governors when it comes to sectarian tensions: Bring a sheikh and a priest to kiss each other in front of the camera and hold an informal reconciliation meeting with the clans that will end into enforcing the Christian families to leave the village.

Since that recent attack, I have been worried because we are speaking about Minya, the gate to Egypt's Upper Egypt where tribalism and weapons strive.
The greatest amount of weapons and arms have ever entered the country Libya illegally, headed to Upper Egypt after the fall of Qaddafi regime in 2011.
The memories of the black terrorism years in the 1980s till mid-1990s are having a flashback with worrisome feeling.

Survivors reportedly said that the militants spoke with an Upper Egyptian accent that identical to the people of El-Minya.
In other words, the suspects could be from that governorate and that would be reasonable.
Minya and Upper Egypt governorates present a perfect hiding place for anyone when it comes to the mounts, hills, and desert that security forces think twice when going to search for criminals and fugitives.
On  Monday, the minister of interior transferred police general Feisal Dowiader , the head of El-Minya's security directorate to another sector in the ministry in a move that many considered as a punishment.

This means that something was wrong when it comes to the security strategies in the governorate.
I must hint out that on Wednesday that four army personnel including three army officers were killed in an army operation against terrorists in the Western desert. We do not know if those terrorists were part of Daesh or another group but the location is so interesting for me. We have to be worried a lot.

The media failure

The Egyptian mainstream media did not show any sympathy what-so-ever especially the Egyptian TV channels. It seemed that there is some kind of selectivity when it comes to mourning the victims of the attack.
All the TV channels are strictly following their Ramadan hot season showing tens of TV shows and hundreds of ads. They do not even insert a black ribbon on their TV screens. This is the weakest and simplest thing to do.
The Egyptian Christians are angry and feel that they are being ignored by the TV channels and mainstream media. They see Egyptian Muslims enjoying their time watching TV in Ramadan and think they are being alienated.
Mass funeral
Egyptian Christians in the mass funeral of the victims in Minya
They have to be angry and they express their anger on social media and as we know radicals from both sides clash because we are in a virtual reality online.This is what Daesh wants by the way; To create and widen that gap between Egyptians in the country.
I do not understand why no official is paying attention to that point.
I do not understand why the State has not called an official mourning in the country.
When I see the TV channels ignoring the attack and its victims in that disgusting way, I think about two possible reasons.

The first one is that we are dealing with very greedy TV channels and executives who won't sacrifice their multi-millions advertising campaigns for the sake of three days only.
The second one is that the government does not want bigger coverage. It is not a big secret that all the TV channels are under the state control and follow its order.
It is worth to mention that President Sisi once criticizes the mainstream media coverage of Al-Botroseya bombing.

In general, the mainstream media is selective. Hundreds of police and army officers, soldiers and conscripts were killed and yet there were certain incidents and attacks that have been highlighted in the media. in

The Retaliation and revenge : Wrong direction !?

Following the end of the National Defense Council's urgent meeting, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi announced that Egypt carried once again air strikes on terror camps without giving more details. At the same time, news came from Libya that the unknown air jets launched an air strike on the city of Derna.
Then the official spokesperson of Egyptian armed forces confirmed the news saying that the Egyptian armed forces

Since then the Egyptian Strikes has not stopped on targets in Derna as well the city of Jufra.
Yet it seems that the Egyptian strikes targets are quite puzzling because Daesh has already left the city of Derna after being kicked out of it by the Derna Mujahedeen Council.

The Derna Mujahedeen Council has not been linked to any activities outside Libya and actually, they managed to liberate the city from Daesh's control in April 2016 !!!!
Unfortunately, the Egyptian government did not give an evidence publicly connecting those Islamist fighters to the attack in Minya or Daesh.
It is clearly to the world that the Egyptian government is actually targeting its alley Khalifa Hafter's rivals in Derna and in Jufra.
Libya air strikes map
A map of Libya showing the targets of Egyptian air forces
in Libya by Reuters 

Unlike the Egyptian strikes in February 2016 in Libya which met complete rejections by the international community, nobody cared this time.
The Egyptian air forces continue to attack Hafter's rivals in Libya whereas the Egyptian people especially the Christians are asking about how effective those strikes in stopping the upcoming attack and whether the terrorists are really in Libya.

Needless to say, that MP Emad Gad's statements that the survivors of the attack and their families told him they knew the identity of the terrorists and that they were from Minya's villages and not from Libya  !!
Some are saying also that Abdel Fattah El-Sisi violated the Constitution with orders for those strikes in Libya because he has got to have the parliament's approval for those strikes according to article no.152.

Despite there has no been a discussion about those strikes and El-Sisi has not called the parliament officially to pass those strikes urgently, the speaker of the House of Representatives welcomed it and stated that they "the MPs" supporters the strikes.

The House of Representatives should have asked already most of the questions in that post, it should have stood to its role as representatives of Egyptian people and question the government.

In six months, the Egyptian Christians were subjected to different attacks by a terrorist organization and they were promised each time that there would be no futures. Yet, the attacks did not stop.

I pray in that Ramadan night that the awful Minya attack will be the real last attack against the Christians in Egypt for real.

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