CAIRO: A 35-year old man arrested by security forces in Menoufia on March 10 admitted his responsibility for the Jan. 24 Cinema Radobis bombing in Haram Street, which left one person dead on Tuesday, according to a copy of police reports attained by Youm7.
When arrested, the suspect was found in possession of three automatic rifles, Youm7 reported Menoufia security chief Said Tawfik as saying, adding that he said the man was being held in police custody pending investigations.
“The bomb was given to me by three people,” the suspect said according to police reports, “They told me to target the area because many policemen and soldiers pass by there.”
The reports say the suspect admitted he carried out the bombing “to avenge the victims” of the Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda Square sit-in dispersals. He also claimed that he had returned to Egypt from Syria and Libya to take revenge from the Muslim Brotherhood, and had attempted to assassinate former President Mohamed Morsi.
Witnesses had reported seeing a man driving a car and throwing off a hand grenade in front of the movie theatre, Al-Balad reported on Jan. 24.
Authorities had been pursuing the suspect before his Tuesday arrest because had been suspected by the National Security Agency of having links to the extremist Mohamed al-Zawahry and belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood, according to Youm7.
The man claimed to have travelled to Libya and Syria which led authorities to suspect his involvement with other takfiri groups, which designate Muslims as apostates. The Ministry of Interior was able to arrest the man in Menoufia, away from his residence in Haram.
According to the police reports, the suspect claimed the three individuals who had orchestrated the attack belonged to Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a Sinai-based militant group that had claimed responsibility for a number of attacks on civilians and police military forces since Morsi’s ouster.
Maqdis first revealed themselves to be behind the assassination attempt on Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim on Sep. 5.
On Dec.24, the group claimed responsibility for an explosion, which targeted the Dakahlia Security Directorate, leaving at least 15 dead and 130 injured, including civilians.
The group claimed responsibility for explosions at the Cairo Security Directorate, on Jan.24, killing four and injuring 76.
This was followed by a larger operation which involved a series of attacks on Jan.25, the day commemorating the January 25 Revolution and the National Police Day.
On Jan. 25, five soldiers were killed after a military helicopter was attacked and another 18 policemen and civilians were injured in a Suez camp explosion. In Cairo, the Ain Shams Police Institute was also bombed. Bayt al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for all of the attacks.
The extremist group also claimed responsibility for a bomb attack on a tourist bus in Taba on Feb. 17 that left three South Koreans and one Egyptian dead. The attack also injured 13 South Koreans and three Egyptians.
The group communicates via Twitter, or through releasing videos on Youtube. Their posts have clearly stated that operations would be carried against police and military forces, warning civilians to stay away from state institutions and military installations. After the Taba attack, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis warned tourists against coming to Egypt.
Additional reporting by Mohamed Fathy and Ibrahim Ahmed.