BREAKING: Explosion Outside U.S. Embassy in Cairo
See below for updates to this story.
Early reports indicate that a man detonated explosives outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, today. Security forces arrested a man at the scene.
CBS News says unconfirmed reports indicate a second explosive device was found nearby.
The U.S. Embassy has advised Americans to avoid the area:
The embassy is located in downtown Cairo, not far from Tahrir Square.
This incident occurs just days before joint U.S.-Egypt Bright Star military exercises are to take place near Alexandria.
As I reported here at PJ Media back in May 2017, the State Department issued a warning about threats made against the Cairo embassy by the Muslim Brotherhood terror cell Hassm, which was designated a terrorist organization by the State Department back in January of this year.
The Cairo embassy was also attacked by a mob on September 11, 2012 — the same day as the attack on the U.S. consulate compound in Benghazi, Libya.
The mob had been incited by Egyptian media reports of the "Innocence of Muslims" YouTube video. The attack was claimed by the "Omar Abdel-Rahman Brigade," named for the Egyptian "Blind Sheikh" terror leader imprisoned in the U.S. for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
The embassy had initially issued a statement of apology for the video hours before the mob had gathered and later breached the embassy compound, which was attacked by the Mitt Romney presidential campaign for failing to defend the principle of freedom of speech. The Obama White House distanced itself from the embassy's statement, which was later removed from the State Department's website.
Two days later, the embassy got into a public Twitter spat with the Muslim Brotherhood, calling out the hypocrisy of the Brotherhood's public condemnation of the attack in English while justifying the grounds for the attack in Arabic.
The U.S. ambassador to Egypt at the time, Anne Patterson, was a major target of the Tamarod protests in June 2013 that led to the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, a former spokesman of the Muslim Brotherhood. Patterson was criticized for her close association and perceived support of the Muslim Brotherhood. She was later removed from Cairo and given a promotion at the State Department in Washington, D.C.
UPDATE 10:10 a.m. EST: The U.S. Embassy has reopened and resumed normal activities:
It appears the would-be bomber suffered from premature detonation:
It is still unclear if he was going to conduct a suicide bombing.