A mosque attack in Egypt Friday led to the deaths of 235 people, a manhunt for those responsible, and renewed calls by President Donald Trump to both build a wall on the Southern U.S. border and reintroduce a travel ban for known terrorist-sympathizing countries.
Will be calling the President of Egypt in a short while to discuss the tragic terrorist attack, with so much loss of life. We have to get TOUGHER AND SMARTER than ever before, and we will. Need the WALL, need the BAN! God bless the people of Egypt.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2017
The coordinated attack involved both bombs and gunfire and took place at the al Rawdah mosque in the northern Sinai. The mosque is an important Sufi site, thought to be the birthplace of Sheikh Eid al-Jariri, who is considered the founder of Sufism in the Sinai.
Eyewitnesses said a bomb went off in an adjacent building and, as they fled, worshipers were targeted by gunmen wielding semi-automatic weapons as they left the mosque. While no one has claimed responsibility, Egyptian officials say the attack bears the hallmarks of ISIS.
Ashraf Abu Salem 27, said gunmen then went inside the mosque to fire at people. Entering the mosque afterward, he said the bodies looked as if people had been shot in the back. His clothes were stained with the blood of the injured he helped to carry out, but he was unharmed.The gunmen had set up “ambush” locations and opened fire on ambulances as they were transporting wounded worshippers to al-Arish before the arrival of security services, eyewitnesses reported.Photos from inside the mosque showed what appeared to be bodies lined up in rows on the carpet.
President Donald J. Trump spoke today with President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi of Egypt to offer condolences to the people of Egypt after the heinous attack on worshippers in Egypt’s North Sinai province. President Trump condemned the attack and reiterated that the United States will continue to stand with Egypt in the face of terrorism. The international community cannot tolerate barbaric terrorist groups and must strengthen its efforts to defeat terrorism and extremism in all its forms.
Egypt is not among the countries listed in the original travel ban. Those responsible for the attack have not yet been located.