ISIS tries to pin blame for Egypt mosque attack on Christians

Military secure worshippers outside Al Rawdah mosque during the first Friday prayer after the attack in Bir Al-Abed, Egypt, December 1, 2017. | Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

The supporters of the Islamic State terror group are reportedly trying to frame Christians for the attack on Al Rawdah mosque in Egypt last month in an attempt to incite revenge attacks against them over the holiday season.

According to Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a Telegram channel under the name "The Sons of Jesus Movement" was created on Dec. 2, and a statement was posted claiming responsibility for the mosque attack that resulted in the deaths of 305 worshippers.

The group reportedly stated that the terror attack was a revenge operation in response to the attacks against Christians, and had promised to provide photographic evidence from the incident at an appropriate time.

MEMRI, however, pointed out that no evidence of such a group can be found from any other source, and the statement was reportedly first disseminated by ISIS supporters.

The Washington D.C.-based monitoring group had surmised that the statement was a "crude fabrication" by ISIS supporters in an attempt to pin blame on Christians for the mosque attack.

ISIS has remained silent about the attack, while groups associated with Al-Qaeda have denounced it.

Pro-ISIS channels on Telegram reacted to the alleged "Sons of Jesus" statement by threatening revenge attacks against Christians.

"A black holiday upon you, oh Christians of Egypt, and upon whoever brought you. With Allah's permission, we will take revenge on you, and for the actions of your patrons — the bombing, shelling and destruction of homes and mosques on the heads of innocent subjects of the rule of the caliphate," the statement read.

"Even if your announcement is fake, it came at an appropriate time. In any case we are ordered to lie in wait for you, as you lie in wait for us. However, the reward goes to he who believes in Allah alone and wages jihad for the sake of raising His word and His law," it continued.

The statement was preceded by a similar threat issued by ISIS' "Egypt Province" on Dec. 4, urging Egyptian Muslims to kill Christian clerics and blow up churches and monasteries.

Egypt's public prosecutor's office has stated in November that ISIS appears to be behind the mosque attack, citing witnesses who testified that the gunmen waved the terror group's flags as they opened fire through doorways and windows.

The massacre was said to be the one of the worst terrorist incidents in Egyptian history and the first attack on a mosque.

It is believed that the attack was carried out on a Muslim place of worship because it was frequented by Sufis, a sect considered to be heretical by many Islamic extremists.