Sheikh Mohamed Abdel Fattah, the imam of Rawda mosque in North Sinai, said that there were terrorist threats to the mosque, among others, for almost a year, in a Monday interview with dmc television channel.
It has also been reported in the media that another smaller mosque in the district had been closed due to threats.
The imam was injured in the attack, considered the deadliest in Egypt, as the official death toll stands at 305, including 27 children.
According to state-owned daily Al-Akhbar on Tuesday, preliminary investigations revealed that the attackers were divided into three groups. The first group of 14 included five masked men, who are suspected to be locals, while the rest of them looked to be foreigners. Those men reportedly entered the mosque to kill worshippers.
The second group of 12 shot worshippers from the mosque’s windows while shouting “Allah akbar”, and the third group of six were in charge of security outside the mosque. They are believed to be the men who shot at people who tried to escape and those heading towards the mosque that burned cars parked outside it.
This comes as local media reported that the Rawda mosque is being restored in preparation to be reopened for prayers.
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi continued to receive condolences and solidarity messages from leaders around the world.
Meanwhile, the military spokesperson said on Tuesday that three “takfiri members” were killed and another five arrested in anti-terrorism operations in central Sinai, in addition to seizing a vehicle loaded with explosive materials.d