Police on Tuesday morning arrested a man suspected of throwing an explosive device on the sidewalk opposite a synagogue in Cairo’s downtown district on Sunday.
Gamal Hussein Ahmed, a 39-year-old tailor, was arrested while en route to the US embassy, say security sources, where he had hoped to apply for political asylum.
According to a statement released by the Interior Ministry, Ahmed admitted to having carried out the attack on the synagogue because he was angry at frequent Israeli violence carried out against Palestinians.
Ahmed also reportedly admitted to having carried a small container of sulfur dioxide, which broke while he was being pursued by police resulting in burns to his face.
It is not Ahmed’s first brush with the law, say security sources. In 1984, he was interrogated for his alleged role in an arson attack on a video rental shop in Cairo, but was never convicted of the crime. According to the ministry, the suspect suffers from drug addiction and was admitted to hospital in 1991 for psychological treatment.
The ministry also claims Ahmed had traveled to a number of countries using forged documents, and that he served three and a half years in a Libyan prison for using heroine before being deported to Cairo in 1997.
Police reportedly identified the suspect through descriptions provided by an eyewitness.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.