ISIS Strikes Churches in Egypt

On April 9, ISIS claimed responsibility for suicide bombings at Coptic Christian churches in two Egyptian cities, killing roughly 45 and injuring 106, according to the latest available information. At this time, there are no known or credible threats to the Coptic Christian community in New Jersey, which has one of the largest concentrations of Coptic Christians in the United States.

  • In Tanta, an assailant detonated a suicide vest inside St. George’s Church, leaving approximately 27 deceased. Three hours later, another bomber killed about 18 at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria, where the leader of the global Coptic Christian community, Pope Tawadros II, was performing services. He was unharmed.
     
  • The Coptic Christian community, which makes up roughly 10 percent of Egypt’s population, is a perennial ISIS target. In December 2016, the group claimed responsibility for 29 deaths and 47 injuries at the country’s main Coptic Christian cathedral in Cairo. Since June 2016, ISIS has conducted three attacks and eight targeted assassinations against Coptic Christians.
     
  • NJOHSP has security resources for faith-based institutions, such as analysis on threats and risk mitigation strategies, at www.njohsp.gov/interfaith. Moreover, we encourage reporting suspicious activity to local law enforcement and by calling 1-866-4-SAFE-NJ or e-mailing tips@njohsp.gov.

For more information, please contact NJOHSP's Analysis Bureau at analysis@njohsp.gov or 609-584-4000.