Egypt forensic artists provide sketch of suspected church bomber

Ahram Online, Thursday 6 Jan 2011

A severed head found on the scene of the Alexandria bombing has helped experts reconstruct the features of the man they believe could be behind last week's attack

Egyptian authorities have released a sketch of the alleged church bomber, constructed by forensic experts and surgeons

Egyptian officials released a sketch by forensic experts that reconstructs the face of the bomber alleged to have blown himself up outside Two Saints Church in Alexandria on New Year's eve. Sources say the reconstruction was carried out using remains found at the site of the blast, which killed 21 and injured at least 80.

The sketch, which was released to the media in hopes its distribution might yield further clues on the man, was primarily constructed based on a severed head found at the scene. Surgeons were consulted to try to reconstruct the features of the face, which is thought to belong to a man in his twenties.

Authorities have said the man possibly attempted entry to the church but was likely deterred by guards at its gates. Not long after, and shortly after midnight as congregants were emerging from midnight mass, the man was alleged to have set off an explosives belt packed with between 10 and 15 kilogrammes (22-33 pounds) of nails, TNT, and ball bearings.

Officials have not yet confirmed the source of the attack, but but President Hosni Mubarak said "foreign hands" were involved. Terrorism experts and investigation sources have told Ahram Online that the evidence compiled so far offers strong indication that the attack was coordinated by Al-Qaeda militants en route from Iraq to the Maghreb countries. Investigations are underway to verify and confirm this. 


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