We have seen those same allegations for weeks now, of course. But the jihadists of the Palestinian Army of Islam may need to get their stories straight, or things could get awkward. A report in the Los Angeles Times quotes another statement that said: “Despite our praise to those who executed the attack, the Army of Islam has no connection to the Alexandria church bombing.”
AFP – The Palestinian Army of Islam militant group on Sunday denied involvement in a deadly attack on an Egyptian church, rejecting accusations by the Cairo government.
“The Army of Islam has no relation, whether close or distant, to the attack on the Coptic church in Alexandria, Egypt,” a spokesman for the group, who gave his name as Abu Muthanna, told AFP.
“The Mossad (Israeli intelligence) was responsible for the attack,” he said.
Earlier Sunday, Egypt’s Interior Minister Habib al-Adly announced that the small Palestinian group was behind the New Year’s church attack in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, which killed more than 20 people.
He made the accusation in a speech to mark Police Day, carried live on Egyptian state television.
President Hosni Mubarak took to the stage to congratulate the police “for finding the perpetrators of the terrorist act in Alexandria.”
On January 1, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a church in the Mediterranean city as worshippers emerged from a New Year’s Eve mass.
Egypt’s official MENA news agency on Sunday put the death toll at 23, with scores more wounded. Previously, the death toll stood at 21.
The Palestinian group accused of perpetrating the attack is a small outfit that espouses Salafist ideals, an austere form of Sunni Islam that seeks a return to the practices of the faith’s early days….