Three South Korean tourists and a bus driver were killed in an act of terrorism when a bomb destroyed a tourist bus in Egypt near the Israeli border. Fourteen other tourists were injured by the blast. It is not clear whether the explosion was caused by a car or roadside bomb.
Although no one has claimed responsibility, Egyptian authorities believe the al Qaeda-inspired Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis is responsible for the attack. Since the military ousted President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood from power last July, Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis has regularly attacked Egyptian security forces. But now it appears they want the world to pay attention and have begun to attack tourists.
Of course, it isn’t the first time tourists have been attacked in Egypt by acts of Islamic terrorism. There was the Luxor Massacre which claimed the lives of 62 people in November 1997 as well as series of attacks between 2004 and 2006 including the attack in Sharm el-Sheikh in July 2005 which claimed the lives of 88 people, the largest terrorist attack in Egyptian history.
Shortly before his ouster, Morsi caused outrage when he appointed a Governor who was linked to the Luxor attack. Nearly a year earlier, Morsi pardoned one of the leaders responsible for the Luxor attack.
It appears that the South Koreans were targeted because they were Christians. They all attended the same church and had just visited St. Catherine’s Monastery, a popular tourist destination in the Sinai Peninsula.
The question now is will Islamic terrorist attacks against tourists accelerate in Egypt and elsewhere.