It is thought to have been instigated by exiled leaders of al-Jama'a al-Islamiyya
, an Egyptian Islamist
organization, attempting to undermine the organization's July 1997 "Nonviolence Initiative
", to devastate the Egyptian economy
and provoke the government into repression
that would strengthen support for anti-government forces.
However, the attack led to internal divisions among the militants, and resulted in the declaration of a ceasefire.
In June 2013, the group denied that it was involved in the massacre.
In the mid-morning attack, six gunmen killed 58 foreign nationals and four Egyptians.
The assailants were armed with automatic firearms and knives, and disguised as members of the security forces. They descended on the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut at around 08:45. They killed two armed guards at the site.
With the tourists trapped inside the temple, the killing went on systematically for 45 minutes, during which many bodies, especially of women, were mutilated with machetes.
The dead included a five-year-old English child, Shaunnah Turner, and four Japanese couples on honeymoon.
There were 26 survivors.
One or more al-Jama'a al-Islamiyya leaflets were reportedly found calling for the release of Omar Abdel-Rahman
from a U.S. prison,
stating that the attack had been carried out as a gesture to exiled leader Mustafa Hamza
or declaring: "We shall take revenge for our brothers who have died on the gallows. The depths of the earth are better for us than the surface since we have seen our brothers squatting in their prisons, and our brothers and families tortured in their jails".
Most of the 58 victims were foreign tourists. Switzerland
was the hardest hit, with 36 of its citizens killed. The youngest victim was a 5-year-old British
The massacre marked a decisive drop in Islamist terrorists
' fortunes in Egypt by turning public opinion overwhelmingly against them. Terrorist attacks declined dramatically following the backlash from the massacre.
Organizers and supporters of the attack quickly realised that the strike had been a massive miscalculation and reacted with denials of involvement. The day after the attack, al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya leader Refa'i Ahmed Taha
claimed the attackers intended only to take the tourists hostage, despite the immediate and systematic nature of the slaughter. Others denied Islamist involvement completely. Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman blamed Israelis for the killings, and Ayman Zawahiri
maintained the attack was the work of the Egyptian police.
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- ^ Wright, The Looming Tower, (2006), pp. 256–7
- ^ el-Zayat, Montasser, "The Road to al-Qaeda", 2004. tr. by Ahmed Fakry
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- ^ a b c Napoli, James J. "Egyptian Government Continues to Blame West for Ills After Luxor Massacre". Washington Report. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
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- ^ Wright, Lawrence, The Looming Tower, (2006), pp. 257–8
- ^ Mannes, Aaron (2004). Profiles in Terror: The Guide to Middle East Terrorist Organizations. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 96. ISBN 978-0-7425-3525-1.
- ^ United States of America v. Ahmed Abdel Sattar, a/k/a "Abu Omar," a/k/a "Dr. Ahmed," Lynne Stewart, and Mohammed Yousry, Defendants. Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine No. S1 02 CR. 395(JGK). 24 October 2005.
- ^ "Terror in Egypt". ADL. January 1998. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
- ^ "Bloodbath at Luxor". The Economist. 20 November 1997. Archived from the original on 23 January 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
- ^ "Switzerland closes inquiry into Luxor massacre". Swiss Info. 10 March 2010. Archived from the original on 19 December 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
- ^ "Terror in Egypt". ADL. January 1998. Archived from the original on 6 January 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
- ^ Rana Muhammad Taha; Hend Kortam; Nouran El Behairy (11 February 2013). "The Rise and fall of Mubarak". Daily News Egypt. Archived from the original on 28 April 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
- ^ a b Wright, The Looming Tower, (2006), p.258
- ^ Wright, The Looming Tower, (2006), p. 293
- ^ "Egypt tries to understand the Luxor massacre". BBC News. 1 December 1997. Archived from the original on 21 February 2009. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
Last edited on 1 May 2021, at 05:25
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