Reuters Limited & U.S. Dive Travel Network.
on TOURIST TARGETS IN EGYPT:
a DETAILED HISTORY from 1992 to the PRESENT.
(Derived from copyrighted reports
the internationally respected British News Agency.
Reprinted with specific permission from the NYC Bureau.)
Following are notable incidents
in the failed Moslem militant campaign
to permanently cripple Egypt's lucrative tourist industry. History shows
that the vast majority of tourists who visit Egypt for
any reason, at any time of year, & to any locale, find their
experience to be magical, exotic & a great adventure. Terrorism against
live-aboard vessels on the Red Sea has been virtually non-existent, knowledgeable
We include this file not
to meddle in your private vacation plans,
nor to instill needless anxiety, but because U.S. Dive Travel
strongly feels you need to study the issue of personal
safety in Egypt before making an informed
decision about whether to travel to this
beautiful but troubled region. And the only way to be informed is to separate fact from rumor,
history from fearful speculation.
Your safety & personal
security are far more important to this company
than any other aspect of your booking. Please read this
important text completely & feel free to call your agent at
U.S. Dive Travel if you have any questions. Thank
you for taking the time. God bless you
& your trip! Be careful & chances are excellent you will
have one of the most exciting & visually gratifying scuba vacations
possible on planet Earth.
- Sept. 30 - A spokesman
for the main militant movement, the Gama'a al-Islamiya
(Islamic Group), warned tourists not to enter the province of Qena, which
includes some of Egypt's most famous Pharaonic temples & tombs.
- Oct. 1 -- Gama'a gunmen
fired at a Nile cruiser carrying 140 Germans near Assiut, injuring three
- Oct. 21 -- Militants ambushed
a tourist bus, killing a British woman & injuring two British men.
The woman was the first foreigner to die in militant-related violence in
- Nov. 12 -- Five German
tourists & two Egyptians were wounded when gunmen
ambushed a bus in the town of Qena.
- Jan. 7 - A man threw a
bomb near a tourist bus in Cairo, the first attack ever in the nation's
capital. No injuries were reported.
- Feb. 26 - A bomb was detonated
in a crowded coffee shop in central Cairo, killing a Turk, a Swede &
an Egyptian & injuring 20 people of various nationalities.
- March 16 - A bomb damaged
five tourist buses outside the Egyptian Museum in central Cairo.
- June 8 - A bomb exploded
near a tour bus on Pyramids Road in Cairo, killing two Egyptians &
injuring 22 people including five British tourists.
- Aug 16 - A lone gunman
fired shots at tourist boat in southern Egypt, but nobody is hurt in the
brief random attack.
- Sept 15 & 18 -- Moslem
militants fired at two Nile cruise boats, the first near the village of
al-Qusiya, the second on a boat carrying 22 French tourists
near Abu Tig, in Upper Egypt. Both attacks missed & nobody was hurt
at all. No word on whether the attackers were nabbed by police.
- Oct. 27 -- A man described
as a mentally disturbed musician shot dead
two American businessmen & an eminent French jurist as they ate dinner
at a luxury Cairo hotel. An Italian injured in the attack later died, three
other people were wounded. The government said the attacker was mentally
retarded & was not a Gama'a member, but some sources described him
as a militant sympathiser.
- Dec. 27 - A gun & bomb
attack on a tourist bus in old Cairo left eight Austrians
& eight Egyptians seriously wounded. Next day newspapers said Gama'a
claimed responsibility, explaining that it launched the attack to avenge
executions of its members.
- Feb. 14 -- Gunmen ambushed
a bus carrying Romanians in the southern province of Assiut. No one was
hurt. The Gama'a claimed responsibility for the attack.
- Feb. 17 -- Gunmen opened
fire at a Nile cruiser in Assiut, but no one hurt. Gama'a again claimed
- Feb. 19 -- Gunmen attacked
a Egyptian train in Assiut, injuring one Pole & several Taiwanese tourists.
Gama'a claimed responsibility.
- Feb. 23 - An explosion
hits Egyptian train in Assiut. Six tourists were hurt: two Australians,
two Germans & two New Zealanders. Gama'a claimed responsibility.
- March 4 -- Gunmen fired
at a Nile cruiser in southern Egypt, wounding a German woman tourist, who
died after being flown back to Germany.
- March 7 -- Gunmen attacked
a train in southern Egypt, 11 Egyptians wounded.
Gama'a claimed responsibility.
- March 13 -- Gunmen fired
at a Nile cruiser in southern Egypt, but no one was hurt.
- Aug. 26 - Gunmen killed
a Spanish boy in an attack on a tourist bus in southern
Egypt, also wounding his father. Gama'a claimed responsibility.
- Sept. 27 -- Gunmen shot
dead one German tourist & wounded another in a random attack in the
Red Sea resort of Hurghada. Two Egyptians also were killed & another
German man died of his injuries after returning to Germany.
Since this time Egyptian police have set a super-tight security cordon
along the single road into Hurghada & there has not been any major
incidents since this date, sources indicate.
- Oct. 23 -- Suspected Moslem
militants killed a British tourist & wounded three others, along with
their Egyptian driver, raking with machine-gun fire the minibus carrying
them to a pharaonic temple in southern Egypt.
- Nov. 6 -- Gunmen opened
fire at a Nile cruiser carrying 30 tourists in southern Egypt, but they
do not cause any damage or casualties.
- Dec. 26 -- Unidentified
gunmen opened fire near a passenger train in southern
Egypt, causing no injuries.
- Jan. 12 -- Suspected Moslem
militants wounded two Argentine tourists & four Egyptians when they
opened fire on a train in southern Egypt.
- Nov. 8 -- Gunmen thought
to be Moslem militants attacked a passenger train in southern Egypt &
wounded 10 people.
- Nov. 9 -- Two European
tourists -- a Dutch man & a French woman -- are shot when terrrists sprayed
a passenger train with bullets in southern Egypt. The Gama'a told foreign
tourists to leave the country immediately & said it was responsible
for the attack on the passenger train in southern Egypt on November 8.
- Nov. 19 - Suspected Moslem
militants opened fire on a tourist train heading north from Aswan to Cairo,
killing one of the train workers & injuring several people.
- Nov. 29 - Gunmen fired
11 rounds at a passenger train taking tourists to southern
Egypt overnight, but no one was hurt.
- Jan. 26 - An elderly Egyptian
was killed when suspected Moslem militants opened fire on a passenger train
that often carries tourists in southern Egypt.
- April 18 -- Gunmen thought
to be Moslem militants massacred 17 Greek tourists
outside a hotel in Cairo near the Pyramids. One Egyptian man was killed
& 15 people were wounded.
- Sept. 18 -- Gunmen suspected
to be Moslem militants killed six German tourists
& three other people outside the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square.
Nine people were wounded.
- November '97 -- Moslem terrorists armed with automatic weapons
ambushed, shot & killed 62 tourists at Luxor. All of the gunmen
were shot dead by military police or apprehended immediately. The Egyptian
government denounced this act & quickly tightened security in &
around major tourist centers, news reports indicated in the weeks that
followed. Then there followed years of relative peace in Egypt, until ....
- October '04 -- After more than 7 years of uneventful tourism,
with no noteworthy violent incidents aimed at foreign tourists, a group of terrorists bombed resorts
in the Red Sea villages of Taba & Ras Shitan, killing 34 persons, mostly Israeli visitors. More than 100 persons were
wounded, some gravely. The carnage was reported worldwide.
- April 7, '05 -- A fringe extremist group dubbing itself Islamic Brigades of Pride
delivered a crude homemade bomb -- packed with nails -- on the back of a motorcycle, driven by a suicide bomber right into the heart of the
historic shopping bazaar called Khan al-Khalili. The blast killed 2 tourists, a French woman & an American man, & wounded about 18 other
people, some critically. The marketplace was strewn with debris & body parts. The motorcycle driver who delivered the bomb also was killed.
- April 30, '05 -- Two veiled women in their 20s opened fire on a tour bus in a historic district of of Cairo, wounding two passengers then killing themselves. Two hours earlier that same day, a man suspected of involvement in a Cairo tourist bombing April 7 (see above) -- whom authorities identified as the brother & fiance' of the women who attached this tour bus -- jumped wildly from a bridge overpass during a police chase & ignited a bomb he was packing, killing himself. These incidents occurred behind the Egyptian Museum in downtown Cairo, wounded seven persons in all, four of them foreign tourists. A group calling itself the Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed responsibility for the dual attacks April 30, '05, saying they were in revenge for the thousands of arrests of suspected militants that followed the April 7, '05 bombings along the Red Sea. Abdullah Azzam was a Palestinian terrorist who worked alongside Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, & was killed there in 1989.
July 22, '05 -- Islamic terrorists triggered nearly-simultaneous bombings at the Red Sea resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh, killing at least 88 people & injuring an estimated 200 others. Police reported the three explosions were two suicide car bombs & one planted bag bomb. It was Egypt's deadliest bombing in several years. The bombings happened on Egypt's National Day, which recalls the 1952 bloodless revolution that brought army officers to power after ousting King Farouk. One suicide car bomb killed 17 Egyptian workers in a coffee shop at the city's Old Market, police said. The other suicide car bomber struck the Ghazala Garden Hotel, streaking through a security checkpoint & slamming into the hotel's reception area before exploding. The hotel lobby area collapsed, along with its roof. The Old Market area was a vast mess of broken glass & litter. The third bomb was an improvised device left in a bag; & it killed six tourists at a beachfront parking lot & shuttle stop about two miles from the hotel. The explosions happened about 1:15 a.m. Egypt time, or 6:15 p.m. Friday EDT, but the hotels & the market were crowded anyway with tourists partying, or seeking relief from their hot hotel rooms. The first car was packed with 660 pounds of explosives & slammed into the reception of the Ghazala Gardens in Sharm's Naama Bay, the main strip of hotels, police said. The second bomb weighed about 440 pounds & exploded in a nearby area called the Old Market, frequented mostly by Egyptians working in the town's resorts. A third bomb, believed hidden in a sack, detonated near a beachside walkway where tourists often stroll at night. Dr. Saeed Abdel Fattah, manager of the Sharm el-Sheik International Hospital, where the victims were taken, said those killed included two Britons, two Germans & an Italian, he added. Czech officials said one Czech tourist was also killed. There were conflicting claims of responsibility. Several hours after the attacks, a group citing ties to Al Qaeda issued a claim on an Islamic Web site. The Abdullah Azzam Brigades, Al Qaeda, in Syria and Egypt, was one of two groups that also claimed responsibility for October bombings at the resorts of Taba and Ras Shitan that killed 34. This same terror group also claimed responsibility for a Cairo bombing in April.
- September 29, '08 --
Ten days of hellish uncertainty -- for victims & families alike -- ended today for 11 European tourists + eight Egyptians abducted in the Egyptian desert on Sept. 19, when government operatives swarmed over their captors, winning their freedom. All 19 hostages were freed unharmed in a bold rescue operation in which several of their terrorist kidnappers were killed in a fierce struggle with authorities, Egyptian officials said. The liberated hostages arrived in Cairo aboard an Egyptian military plane, some of them grinning, some holding bunches of flowers, to be greeted by Egyptian military and government officials and foreign diplomats. These 19 hostages were freed in what Egyptian media called a "rescue and recovery operation," although officials gave only sparse details about how commandos secured the release or how the hostage-takers were killed. Later conflicting news accounts stated some hostages hinted they were simply let go, without any firefight, just randomly by the terrorists who feared government troops closing in. The hostages' 10-day ordeal had deeply embarrassed Egypt which depends on foreign tourism for 6 percent of its gross domestic product. "They have all arrived safely. No ransom was paid from any of the hostage countries," Tourism Minister Zoheir Garrana assured international reporters. "We will coordinate with security agencies to make sure this doesn't happen again." Masked gunmen seized the five Germans, five Italians, one Romanian and eight Egyptians on Sept. 19 from a desert safari tour conducted near Egypt's southwestern borders with Sudan and Libya. The kidnappers then rushed their captives southward into harsh desert terrain in Sudan and demanded a multi-million-dollar ransom.
- February 22, '09 --
A terrorist bomb killed a French teenager and wounded at least 20 other people in a crowded square near a popular tourist bazaar in the Egyptian capital Cairo on Feb. 22, 2009, officials said. The blast was the first fatal attack on tourists in Egypt since bombs killed at least 23 people at an Egyptian resort in the Sinai Peninsula in 2006. This latest deadly bomb -- aimed at foreign tourists -- exploded near the 14th-century Khan el-Khalili market in eastern Cairo, a souk where tourists shop for small gifts and relax at outdoor cafes. A similar blast in the same area murdered three tourists in 2005. The Health Ministry of Egypt said a 17-year-old French girl was killed and 13 French tourists, plus three Saudis and four Egyptians had been wounded. The German Foreign Ministry also reported one German national had been injured. Egyptian state new agency MENA quoted security officials as reporting that one bomb had exploded under a bench in a garden in the square, and that a second bomb had been defused by security forces. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but police sources confirmed two suspects had been taken into custody. Reuters International reported this in Feb. 2009: "the bombing is embarrassing for the government, which has tried hard to project an image of security and stability, but angered public opinion at home and across the Arab world by helping Israel to enforce a blockade on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, and failing to condemn its recent onslaught on the Palestinian territory more forcefully."
- January & February, 2011 --
Starting about Jan. 25, 2011, street violence and rioting broke out all across Egypt, especially in Cairo, Luxor, Alexandria & other major cities, where protestors against military strongman Hosni Mubarak massed along the streets in the tens of thousands. On Jan. 25, at least four people were killed at "Day of Wrath" anti-government protests across Egypt as demonstrators vented their rage, complaining of poverty, unemployment and government repression. Then on Jan. 27, security forces shot to death a Bedouin protester in the north of Egypt's Sinai region, bringing the death toll to five on the third day of protests. Later, on Jan. 28, police fired rubber bullets and tear gas as protesters hurled stones at them and yelled "Down, Down, Hosni Mubarak!" Police blanketed Cairo and blocked social networking communications in an effort to strangle the protests. Egyptian Internet servers were blocked across the country, throttling a key tool for reform-seeking political activists. Hospital and government sources placed the death toll by Feb. 2 at more than 100, with thousands injured. Cairo suffered widespread looting, fires, destroyed vehicles and days of total shutdown of airports and public transport. Some independent foreign journalists placed the civilian death toll higher than 300 by Feb. 2, 2011.
- During the last 2 years, month after month, the world's major news services have reported numerous clashes between demonstrators & police in Cairo, then the contentious election & short rule of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi, who was deposed by the Egyptian military on July 3, 2014. That coup sparked a series of violent uprisings in Cairo's Tahrir Square that led, on July 27, 2013 to soldiers firing on protestors, killing nearly 100 people & injuring 1,500, according to the BBC.
On Aug. 14, 2013, angry protests swept across Cairo & several other large Egyptian cities. Military snipers & heavily armed soldies opened fire on Morsi supporters, killing more than 525 people & injuring more than 3,700. Reportedly dozens of police officers & soldiers were killed or injured by protestors. Governments around the world, including the USA, immediately condemned the military coup leaders, as Egypt began to spiral into bloody street fighting & urban anarchy.
Feb. 19, 2014 (Wed.) BBC & EuroNews dispatches:
The Islamist militant unit calling itself Ansar Bayt
al-Maqdis has warned tourists to leave Egypt “before it’s too late” and
threatened to attack anyone who stays in the country after a deadline of
February 20. The Sinai-Peninsula-based
group, which assumed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed two South
Korean tourists and an Egyptian bus driver on Feb. 16, made the statement on a Twitter
The attack against the bus, which was heading to Israel
from St. Catherine’s Monastery, a popular tourist destination in the south
Sinai, was the first assault on foreign tourists since President Mohamed Mursi
was driven out of power last summer by the Egyptian military – which sparked an
Islamist insurgency. Islamist militancy
has escalated dramatically in Egypt this winter, including the largely lawless
region adjoining Israel and the Gaza Strip, since the army deposed Islamist
Mursi in July, following mass protests against his rule.
Since then the army has launched a wide-scale operation in
Sinai targeting Islamist militants, and security forces launched a crackdown on
Islamists and Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood which authorities labelled a terrorist
organisation. The Brotherhood denies any
links to violence. The attack marks a
shift in strategy among Sinai’s militants to targeting “softer” tourist and
economic targets. Egypt’s vital tourism industry has already been hit hard by
three years of political turmoil and street protests.
Islamist terrorist commandos launch near-daily attacks on
security forces in northern Sinai, while the south, with its many Red Sea
resorts, had been seen as a relatively safe tourist destination, government
officials said. Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis has
claimed responsibility for several bombings, including an attempt to kill the
interior minister in Cairo last year. The
organization also said it was behind a missile attack on a military helicopter
last month that killed five soldiers.
CAIRO / Sept. 13,
2015 — The Associated Press reported today that Egyptian special
forces who were pursuing Islamic militants in the country’s western desert
mistakenly opened fire on Mexican tourists who were on a safari, killing 12 unarmed
civilians and setting back the country’s efforts to revive its faltering
officials said the group had no formal permits to be in the area, but have not released
a complete account of Sunday’s incident, in which another 10 people were
wounded. Mexico’s President Enrique Pena
Nieto condemned the attack and called for a full investigation. And Claudia Ruiz Massieu, Mexico’s foreign
minister, said stunned survivors told officials they were attacked by
helicopters and other aircraft.
The incident, among
the worst attacks on tourists ever in Egypt, occurred while the government is
desperately trying to rekindle tourist flow, which has waned since the 2011
uprising that brought down President Hosni Mubarak.
Egypt has mainly
been battling insurgents in the northern Sinai Peninsula, on the other side of
the country, where Islamic militants stepped up attacks on security forces
after the military ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2013 amid large-scale
protests against his rule.
But in recent
months militants loyal to the Islamic State have carried out a series of brutal
attacks in Egypt, including the bombing of the Italian Consulate in Cairo plus
kidnapping and beheading a Croatian oil surveyor who was working in the
the spokeswoman for the Dar al-Fouad hospital where the wounded were being
treated, said two of the seven Mexicans receiving treatment also hold American
citizenship. A State Department official said an American woman was injured.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, declined to say more because
the woman had not waived her privacy rights.
Associated Press, Egypt’s Interior Ministry said in a statement that a joint
military-police force was pursuing “terrorist elements” in the area and fired
on four vehicles that turned out to be carrying tourists. The ministry said the
victims were Egyptian and Mexican. Egyptian
authorities claim the safari convoy had
wandered into a restricted area without formal permission.
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