AFRICA/EGYPT - Magazine of the Islamic State announces the execution of the Copts kidnapped in Libya

Cairo - The 21 Copts kidnapped in Libya in early January are in the hands of the jihadists of the Islamic State , who in an article published online foreshadow their execution by presenting it as a revenge against the alleged "violence" suffered in the past by Egyptian Muslim women on behalf of the Coptic Church. The news is released in an article published on Dabiq, the official magazine of the Islamic State online, which publishes pictures of the kidnapped wearing orange clothes and held hostage by armed masked men, in poses and situations that evoke images of the seized already murdered by jihadists cutthroats.
The article accompanying the photos defines the Copts as "crusaders of Egypt" and refers to the story - now old of years – of two Coptic women who, according to the jihadist propaganda, were compelled by force by the Coptic Orthodox Church to recant their conversion to Islam. The text also mentions the massacre carried out in 2010 by the terrorists of al-Qaeda in the Syrian Catholic cathedral in Baghdad, first presented as a "revenge" for the alleged violence by the Copts in Egypt.
Currently the reactions of Egyptian institutions appear cautious, while families of the kidnapped are preparing protests in the Egyptian capital today, near the headquarters of the journalists' union, followed by a prayer meeting in the Coptic cathedral. The Egyptian presidency has sent a note to say that checks and contacts are being carried out to assess the current conditions of the hostages. So far - repeat unofficial sources - the corpses of the hostages have not been found in Libya, and the jihadists have placed an ultimatum of 72 hours before starting the executions. Indiscretion which leaves open the possibility of still ongoing negotiations to avert the massacre of the Copts kidnapped.
"At the moment - refers to Agenzia Fides Anba Antonios Aziz Mina, Coptic Catholic Bishop of Guizeh - all men of good will should pray for our brothers kidnapped in Libya, whatever their fate. It should especially avoid falling into the trap of the jihadists. Those hostages were kidnapped because they are Egyptians. Their design aims to divide us and put us against each other: Christians against Muslims, pacifist and 'heretic' Muslims against 'real' Muslims, Sunnis against Shiites, believers against atheists".