On Thursday, the Islamic State claimed it had carried out a huge auto bombing that had targeted security forces in Egypt’s capital of Cairo calling its operation revenge for the killings of some members earlier in the year.
The explosion happened in the early hours of Thursday morning.
Described by a resident as “like an earthquake”, the overnight explosion shook the working-class Shubra district of northern Cairo, severely damaging the front of the police office and shattering the windows of nearby buildings.
In a statement posted to Twitter, the Islamic State took responsibility and spoke of its reasoning behind the attack.
Despite his efforts to promote an image of stability, though, attacks on security targets have grown more intense in the two years since Egyptian security forces killed more than 800 people in a crackdown on supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, an Islamist.
El-Sissi has blamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood for a string of attacks against security forces and police and army installations, even when others assert responsibility. Attacks by Islamists are no longer concentrated in the Sinai and have been stepped up in the Egyptian capital.
The Cabinet approved the draft anti-terrorism law last month, two days after a vehicle bomb in an upscale Cairo neighborhood killed the country’s prosecutor general, Hisham Barakat.
Militants based in Sinai who support Islamic State, which controls parts of Iraq and Syria and has a presence in Egypt’s neighbour Libya, have proven resilient despite military operations against them. The building’s windows were blown out and its facade was left cracked and crumbling, while parts of a wall surrounding it were destroyed.
A wide crater was left behind by the blast near the four-storey concrete building. A statement issued by the IS Egypt affiliate and circulated by supporters online said it was to avenge the execution of six convicted militants in May.
The claimed duty for the automotive bombing, saying on its Al-Bayan radio station that “troopers of the caliphate” had carried it out.
Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, who visited the scene of the blast on Thursday, called the attack “vile” and promised that attempts to cause chaos in Egypt would fail.
The law has come under fire from human rights groups that accuse Sisi of rolling back freedoms won in the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.