Sunday, February 21, 2010

Adly St synagogue in Cairo is firebombed

The Adly St synagogue, Cairo (AP)

Update: According to Ynet News, the suspect claims he acted in 'revenge for Israel's actions against the Palestinians'.

The Egyptian authorities are hesitating to call an attack on the Adly Street synagogue in Cairo a 'terrorist attack', the Egyptian newspaper Bikya Masr reports:

CAIRO: A Jewish synagogue was attempted to be set ablaze by unnamed assailants in downtown Cairo. According to ministry of interior officials, the fire broke out around 6:30 in the morning Cairo time after someone allegedly threw what police are reporting to be a makeshift Molotov cocktail onto the premises of the Adly Street synagogue.

Local news reports have already claimed the attack to be terrorist in nature, as officials reported a black bag was discovered on the sidewalk across from the Jewish temple. However, one official told Bikya Masr it is too early to put claims of terrorism to the public.

“We are looking into the situation and are attempting to understand what occurred,” the official, who was not authorized to speak to the media, said, adding that “we believe someone started the fire, but whether this is terrorism related or not is unclear.”

According to the official, the black bag contained clothes.

Despite the initial outpouring of news reports in English, which hit social-networking sites, the inside of the synagogue was left unscathed and police doubt further attacks, if indeed that was the case.

“Whoever did this was obviously acting alone and there is still no real evidence that it was an act of violence. It could have been a mistake, we don’t know at this point, but nothing happened inside the synagogue, so that is good,” said the official.

The Egyptian government positions police officers in front of the synagogue on a 24-hour period, which has some activists and observers concerned over the alleged attack, questioning whether the government is not responsible for the alleged attackers being able to get so close to the temple.

Read article in full

Associated Press report

Same article in Haaretz

Ynet News report

Arutz Sheva report

UPI report

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