ADL Condemns Deadly Attack on Coptic Church in Egypt; Denounces Conspiracy Theories Alleging Israeli Involvement

New York, NY, January 3, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned the deadly bombing of an Egyptian Coptic Church as a "heinous act of terrorism," and denounced reports of conspiracy theories alleging Israeli involvement in the attack.

As worshipers emerged from a New Year's midnight Mass at the Saints Church in Alexandria, a suicide bomber reportedly detonated an explosive device that killed 21 people and wounded nearly 100.

Robert G. Sugarman, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

The bombing of a Coptic Church in Alexandria was a heinous act of terrorism and another deadly example of the threat posed by religiously motivated extremism. This horrific attack comes on the heels of an especially violent year for Egypt's ancient Coptic community. People should never be targeted for violence because of their religious beliefs.

We are appalled by media reports that the Egyptian Bar Association accused Israeli intelligence of carrying out the bombing. Conspiracy theories blaming Israel and Jews for violence, scandals and crises in Egypt are all too common and must be repudiated. We call on President Mubarak and the Egyptian government to publicly declare that such fundamentally incendiary and outlandish accusations have no place in Egypt.

In a letter to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, ADL welcomed the government's efforts to enhance security around Coptic churches as a necessary step to protect the community.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.