Egypt’s Interior Ministry named Abdel Rahman Khaled, a member of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Hasm militant group, as the perpetrator of the explosion that took place outside the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Cairo on Sunday, according to a Thursday statement from the ministry.
“After conducting inspections and investigations, as well as gathering and analysing information by the Homeland Security Sector to identify the perpetrator of the NCI’s explosion, his identity was determined as Abdel Rahman Khaled, a member of Hasm movement, which is affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organisation,” the ministry’s statement read.
“This has been confirmed by matching the genetic fingerprint of the corpse’s remains found in the scene of the explosion with his family members,” the statement added.
The criminal record of Abdel Rahman, 24, was attached to the Interior Ministry’s statement showing that he had been one of the wanted fugitives sought by the Egyptian police in a 2018 terrorist case, dubbed Hasm Vanguard.
Daily News Egypt was able to get exclusive CCTV footage for the route taken by the car used by Abdel Rahman in carrying out the explosion. The footage showed the car in different districts from Nasr city to the Nile Corniche road where the incident took place.
The statement also clarified that other militants with affiliation to the Brotherhood and Hasm, who collaborated with Abdel Rahman, have been traced by police forces during the investigations. The security was engaged in shootout with the suspects in two areas in Fayoum and El Shorouk cities.
The suspects included Husam Adel, Abel Rahman Gomaa, Ibrahim Khaled, Ahmed Abdel Rahman, and Islam Mohamed. Both of Ibrahim Khaled and Islam Mohamed were killed during an attempt to escape from police forces while arresting them, the Interior Ministry said.
The storming of the suspects’ hideout in Fayoum witnessed the usage of explosive devices from the suspects’ side as well as exchange of fire with the police which led to the death of eight suspects.
In El Shorouk City, the police also killed seven armed men after exchange of fire.
About 10 guns and automatic rifles were found in both hideouts along with explosive devices.
The NCI explosion left at least 20 people killed, including four unidentified people, and 47 others were injured, according to a statement from the Ministry of Health.
An earlier statement by the Interior Ministry on the incident accused Hasm of rigging up the car. “The car was heading somewhere to conduct a terrorist attack,” the statement said.
After the explosion, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi offered his condolences to the relatives of victims of the incident, stressing that the state is determined to defeat terrorism.
Following the emergence of the Wilayat Sinai militant group in 2013 and declaring its affiliation to the Islamic State (IS) the following year, militant operations against army and police forces were somewhat restricted to the Sinai Peninsula; however, two militant groups adopting different ideology than this of the IS started to target police and army figures in Cairo in 2016.
The first is the Lewaa El-Thawra group that published in September 2016 a video of footage from an attack it executed against a security checkpoint in Menoufiya governorate.
After this operation, the group executed an unprecedented assassination of an army officer, Brigadier General Adel Ragaei, who commanded an armoured division deployed in the Sinai. He was shot dead outside his residence in Cairo in October 2016.
The second group is Hasm which appeared also in 2016. At that time, the group said it was behind the failed assassination attempt of former Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa.
In the same year, the group claimed responsibility for an attempt to assassinate assistant general prosecutor Zakareya Abdel Aziz in New Cairo. The attack, executed by a car bomb, left a civilian injured, but Abdel Aziz survived the attempt.
Moreover, the group claimed responsibility in December 2016 for a bombing in Giza which claimed the lives of six police personnel and injured three others.
Though both groups have not declared a clear affiliation to the Brotherhood, they are believed to be part of the outlawed group, due to the reasons they stated to justify their operations.
One of these reasons was retaliation for the assassination of Mohamed Kamal, a senior leader in the MB.
Kamal, 61, was killed in his residence in October 2016 during a raid conducted by the Interior Ministry forces. Kamal was accompanied by a teacher named Yasser Shehata, who was also killed in the incident.