Egypt

Exclusive: French Coptic Christians Threatened After Egypt Attack

After threats against churches were posted on the Web, the French police’s anti-terrorism department has launched a probe.

PARIS - After the attack in Alexandria that killed 21 people on New Year's Eve, radical Islamist threats against Coptic Christians are spreading to France. "January 7, the day Copts celebrate Christmas, will require special attention," admits a high-ranking official at the Interior ministry. "The threat is serious," says Paris Police chief Michel Gaudin, who called an emergency meeting to set up tighter security around Coptic churches in the Paris region.

The Paris Police's anti-terrorism department is currently investigating a possible "criminal association in relation to a terrorist enterprise," after a Coptic church in the Parisian suburb of Chatenay-Malabry pressed charges.

Father Girguis Lucas of the Saint-Marie-Saint-Marc's church says one of his churchgoers alerted him about "threats posted on the Web by Islamic mujahideen

announcing more attacks in Europe, especially in France." Father Girguis said the Internet posts mentioned his own church.

French intelligence sends out an alert

Le Figaro has obtained proof that the DRPP French intelligence services sent out an alert about the issue. An intelligence agent confirmed: "Five or six suspected websites were detected in the Paris region." The Chatenay-Malabry church as well as another in Colombes were mentioned.

Patrick Strzoda, the government prefect in Hauts-de-Seine, the department where both these churches are located, immediately requested more patrols and tighter security around these locations. The Interior Ministry wants to extend these security measures to other Coptic churches in and around Paris, and in other French cities like Marseille, Dijon or Nimes.

But France isn't the only country to have been targeted. A message broadcast in December by the Choukmoun al-Islam website, an Al Qaeda mouthpiece, listed about 50 potential targets in France but also in Germany and in Britain. This call for jihad read: "Rise and leave sleep behind. This is an important message about bomb attacks against churches during Christmas celebrations." The author calls "all Muslims who care about the reputation of their sisters to bomb" these churches when "they are full."

Read the original article in French

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in
Keep up with the world. Break out of the bubble.
Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Geopolitics

Greater Russia? Four Scenarios For Putin’s Expansionist Ambitions

A mind map of the Russian leader’s possible plans to increase his influence, and expand his territory.

Vladimir Putin at the military parade in Russia

Kremlin.ru
Anna Akage

Vladimir Putin has always had his eye on the neighborhood.

In Georgia, the border with Russia has effectively been controlled by Moscow’s FSB security services since 2008. Washington this week accused Russian agents of recruiting pro-Kremlin Ukrainian operatives to take over the government in Kyiv and cooperate with a Russian occupying force. Meanwhile, all of Belarus has been on a short leash for two decades.

Keep reading... Show less
Keep up with the world. Break out of the bubble.
Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS
MOST READ