Many were appalled by the video depicting the slaughter of Coptic Christians by masked ISIS supporters in war torn Libya. Unlike some in the West Wing and the State Department who wring their hands, condemn and deplore such savagery, after destabilizing Libya, President al-Sisi has shown he has the mettle to take revenge for the murders of Egyptian Coptic Christians. He launched immediate air attacks against the bases in Eastern Libya of the ISIS affiliated Jihadists. This despite the savage on-going war that Egypt is fighting against the ISIS affiliate in the Sinai, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis.
While the National Security Council and State Department invite in Muslim Brotherhood leaders to discuss messaging to combat the rise of ISIS in the Middle East and North Africa, Al-Sisi is trying ousted President Morsi and hundreds of other MB leaders in Egypt for endeavoring to create an Islamic State. Like the UAE and Saudi Arabia, Egypt has designated the MB and affiliate in the US, the Council of American Islamic Relations, as terrorist organizations. Meanwhile, the White House issued a statement not identifying the religion of the murdered Coptic Christians. Even the UN did that.
Fox News/AP reported Al-Sisi’s response to Jihad slaughter of Coptic Christians in Libya:
Egypt’s military said Monday that it had launched airstrikes against ISIS-affiliated militants in Libya after a video purporting to show the mass beheading of Coptic Christian hostages surfaced Sunday.
A spokesman for the Armed Forces General Command announced the strikes on state radio Monday, marking the first time Cairo has publicly acknowledged taking military action in neighboring Libya, where extremist groups seen as a threat to both countries have taken root in recent years.
The statement said the warplanes targeted weapons caches and training camps before returning safely. It said the strikes were “to avenge the bloodshed and to seek retribution from the killers.”
“Let those far and near know that Egyptians have a shield that protects them,” it said.
The Egyptian government had previously declared a seven-day period of mourning and President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi addressed the nation late Sunday night, saying that his government reserved the right to seek retaliation for the killings.
“These cowardly actions will not undermine our determination” said Al-Sisi, who also banned all travel to Libya by Egyptian citizens. “Egypt and the whole world are in a fierce battle with extremist groups carrying extremist ideology and sharing the same goals.”
Libya’s air force commander, Saqr al-Joroushi, told Egyptian state TV that the airstrikes were coordinated with the Libyan side and that they killed about 50 militants. Libya’s air force also announced it had launched strikes in the eastern city of Darna, which was taken over by an ISIS affiliate last year.
In Washington, the White House released a statement calling the beheadings “despicable” and “cowardly”, but made no mention of the victims’ religion, referring to them only as “Egyptian citizens” or “innocents”. White House press secretary Josh Earnest added in the statement that the terror group’s “barbarity knows no bounds.”
Also Sunday, Secretary of State John Kerry called Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. He offered his condolences on behalf of the American people and strongly condemned the killings. Kerry and the foreign minister agreed to keep in close touch as Egyptians deliberated on a response, according to a release from the State Department.
On Monday, Al-Sisi visited the main Coptic Cathedral of St. Mark in Cairo to offer his condolences on the Egyptians killed in Libya, according to state TV.
The U.N. Security Council meanwhile strongly condemned what it called “the heinous and cowardly apparent murder in Libya of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians by an affiliate of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,” using another name for the terror group.
The foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, also condemned the mass killing, calling it an “ugly crime.”
“The United Arab Emirates is devoting all its resources to support the efforts of Egypt to eradicate terrorism and the violence directed against its citizens,” he said.
Sheikh Abdullah added that the killing highlights the need to help the Libyan government “extend its sovereign authority over all of Libya’s territory.”
The savage murder of the 21 Coptic Christina hostages in Libya underscores the failure of the Administration’s policy of leading from behind. Confounding adoption of a strategy is the Administration’s refusal to identify the threat of Salafist Jihadist Islamic doctrine, virtually one and the same with that promoted by the MB and its supporters in the Muslim Ummah and here in the West.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the New English Review.