Apr 102017
 

Palm Sunday Bombings In Egypt

On one of the holiest days of the Christian calendar, Palm Sunday, two Coptic churches in Egypt were attacked by terrorists. (Coptic means Egyptian. Coptic Christians are Christians just like we are, except their rules are stricter than ours. They are orthodox.)

In the first attack (at the St. George’s Church in Tanta) an explosive planted under a seat in the church went off during a packed Palm Sunday service. The explosion killed 27 parishioners and wounded 78.

The second attack took place just outside of St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria. As the suicide bomber who attempted to enter the church was asked to pass through a metal detector, he opted to detonate the explosives on his body near the entrance to the church. At least 16 people were killed and 41 wounded. (According to reports, some Muslims have been accidental casualties of the attacks as well.)

Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi declared three days of national mourning following the bombings. (With many injured, the total death toll rose to 47 by early Monday, Egypt time.)

ISIS claimed responsibility for the Palm Sunday attacks on Coptic churches. (According to ISIS the bombers were Egyptian nationals. The bombers nationality has not been officially confirmed by Egyptian authorities, as of yet.) In a statement, ISIS threatens more and even bloodier attacks to come. Egypt is about to declare a three-month state of emergency during which additional safety measures will be implemented.

Many world leaders – including President Trump and President Putin – condemned the Palm Sunday attacks. So did António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General. Pope Francis, who is scheduled to visit Cairo in April, expressed his grief.

(Christians are a minority in Egypt, they constitute about 10% of Egypt’s 91 million predominantly Muslim population. After the government of Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in 2011, the attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt intensified. Physical violence against Christians, their churches, homes and businesses have been reported even before the latest attacks.)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti expressed L.A.’s – and Anything L.A.’s feelings best:

“I am heartbroken for our friends in Egypt, where the forces of terror took their brutality to houses of worship on one of Christianity’s holiest days. We can only imagine their pain — and send prayers for peace, strength, and solidarity in the face of cruelty that holds nothing sacred and respects no boundaries. This is a moment of indescribable sorrow, but the triumph celebrated on Palm Sunday is a timely reminder that evil is no match for the love, friendship, and faith in the future that Los Angeles will always share with Egyptians and people around the world.”

May the good Lord protect our Coptic Christian brothers and sisters during the Holy Week and beyond!

Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

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Apr 082017
 

Truck Attack In Stockholm

A beer delivery truck was used as a weapon to kill and injure shoppers in Stockholm! A truck delivering beer was stolen by a masked man in Stockholm. The truck’s rightful driver got injured while unsuccessfully trying to stop the theft. The thief sped away toward Drottninggatan, a pedestrian street, where he drove uninterrupted for over 500 yards and then deliberately mowed down a crowd of people in front of an upscale department store (Ahlens) in the afternoon local time. The smoking truck ended slamming into the entrance of Ahlens and going off in flames. As a result of this blatant crime four people were killed and fifteen injured.

The truck thief escaped by foot to a subway station where he attempted to blend with other commuters. Swedish police distributed a photo of the terrorist and an arrest has been made on the evening following the attack. The man under arrest “on suspicion of terrorist crimes” is – according to the Swedish newspaper, Aftonbladet – a construction worker who resides in a suburb of Stockholm. He is 39 years old and a father of four. He came to Sweden from his native Uzbekistan. It is believed that he doesn’t have a criminal record. Shortly after the terrorist was apprehended, two other men were arrested in connection with the attack.

Sweden’s King Carl Gustaf said in a statement: “Our thoughts are going out to those that were affected, and to their families.”

European Union chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker said from Brussels: “An attack on any of our member states is an attack on us all.”

As a result of the act of terror there is heightened security in Sweden and at Swedish borders. In Norway – an immediate neighbor of Sweden – police is on alert as well. The police at Norway’s largest airport as well as in its larger cities will carry firearms until the state of heightened alert is over.

Sweden is in mourning but is not losing its national identity even in a time of crisis. Stockholmers came through inviting the attack’s survivors to stay with them in their homes and offering rides to help others get to their destinations.

Terrorist attacks in general don’t make sense. But a terrorist attack on Sweden makes even less sense. Sweden is politically neutral, tolerant and not involved in any international conflict in over 200 years. The Swedish military participated in several United Nations’ missions in Iraq and Afghanistan as a peacekeeper.

The idea of using vehicles as weapons of terror was introduced by Al Qaeda in 2010. Since then several attacks “by vehicle” targeting innocent people took place in Europe. A truck driven by a terrorist killed 86 people in Nice, France. A similar attack claimed 12 lives in Berlin, Germany. Just last month, a car plowed into a crown in London killing three. (A fourth person died later from injuries sustained during the attack.) In all of these cases ISIS claimed responsibility.

In view of the terror attack in Sweden, it seems that we have psychics in the current administration. One almost wonders what’s next: Bowling Green Massacre?

Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

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