December 8, 2013
Islamist militants claim responsibility for attack on Egypt minister
Sinai-based Islamist militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for a failed attempt on Thursday to assassinate Egyptian Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim.
"God allowed us to break the security system of the minister of interior ... through a suicide operation committed by one of Egypt's lions that made the interior butcher see death with his eyes, and what is to come will be worse," the group said today in a statement posted on a jihadist Web site.
Islamist militancy has risen sharply in the relatively lawless region adjoining Israel and the Gaza Strip and elsewhere in Egypt since the army deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi two months ago, following mass protests.
Thursday's daylight attack was easily the most spectacular so far, as a suicide car bomber blew himself up next to the minister's convoy as he left his Cairo home for work in an armoured limousine.
Last year the same group claimed responsibility for rocket attacks launched on Israel from Sinai.
On Saturday the Egyptian army launched an offensive against Islamist militants in North Sinai with tanks and attack helicopters, killing at least nine people, security officials said.