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ISIS issues warning to ‘Christians of Egypt’ as they execute a captured Coptic and two tribesmen with gunshots to the head
- Nabil Habashi Salama, 62, a Coptic Christian, executed by ISIS’s arm in Egypt
- Video released Saturday shows militants standing over Salama before he is shot
- Jihadist says killing is a ‘warning to Christians’ for supporting the Egyptian army
- Two tribesmen were also killing for fighting with Egyptian forces, ISIS claimed
By Chris Pleasance for MailOnline and Afp, 19 April 2021
An Egyptian terror group linked to ISIS has executed three men including a Coptic Christian as a warning for supporting the country’s armed forces.
Nabil Habashi Salama, 62, a member of Egypt’s minority Coptic Orthodox Church, was shown being shot in the back of the head in a video released Saturday.
In the footage, a militant with his face blurred, an AK-47 slung across his chest and index finger raised to the sky, warns the ‘Christians of Egypt’ that ‘this is the price you pay for supporting the Egyptian army.’
An ISIS-linked terror group in Egypt has executed a 62-year-old Coptic man ‘as a warning’ to the country’s Christians not to support the armed forces
Nabil Habashi Salama, who was kidnapped off the streets of Bir al-Abed last November, was the man killed in the footage, Egypt’s Coptic Church has confirmed
He then raises the rifle and fires a single bullet into the back of Salama’s head, while flanked by two others who are also clutching rifles.
A separate piece of footage then shows two other militants executing two tribesmen in a similar fashion, after accusing them of fighting with the Egyptian armed forces.
Salama had been missing since last November, the Coptic Church said, when he was kidnapped while walking along the streets of Bir al-Abed by jihadists in a car.
A spokesman for the Coptic Church, which confirmed Salama’s identity from the video, said he had been involved in rebuilding churches destroyed by Islamists in the region.
He kept the faith till the moment he was killed,’ the spokesman said.
‘The church affirms its steadfast support of the Egyptian state’s efforts in quelling hateful terror acts.’
A separate piece of footage released simultaneously shows two tribesmen being executed for fighting alongside Egyptian armed forces, the jihadists said
Salama was snatched from Bir El Abd in the northern Sinai in November last year, a city in northern Sinai that has been repeatedly targeted by jihadists
Egypt has been fighting a jihadist insurgency in the northern Sinai since at least 2011, including local tribal groups, Al Qaeda, and Wilayat Sinai – a pre-existing militant group that swore allegiance to ISIS in 2014.
Originally founded as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis according to Stanford University’s terror monitoring service, the group’s initial aim was to rid nearby Jerusalem of western influence and eradicate any Israeli presence in Egypt.
But following the ouster of dictator Hosni Mubarack in 2011 as part of the Arab Spring, the group switched their attentions to driving the Egyptian army out of Sinai and assuming control of the region.
In 2012 the group carried out its first attacks – on a pipeline exporting gas to Jordan and Israel and on Israeli forces near the border.
When the army removed the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi from power in 2013, Ansar again switched its attentions to government forces, accusing them of suppressing jihadist groups.
A series of deadly and sophisticated attacks on Egyptian forces in 2014 that killed at least 50 soldiers saw the group dubbed ‘the most dangerous in Egypt’ by the New York Times, and saw the government launch counter-insurgent operations.
Faced with the might of the Egyptian army, the group pledged allegiance to ISIS in November 2014 and renamed itself Wilayat Sinai, or Islamic State – Sinai Province