Photo Credit: ljanderson977 / Wikimedia
View of the Arab League building in Cairo, July 2008

Egyptian authorities arrested a local man Tuesday after a botched attempt to blow up the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.

The would-be attacker, Abdullah Ayman Abdel Sameea, 24, was carrying a backpack containing a bottle of flammable chemicals which spontaneously, apparently prematurely, caught fire.


No casualties were reported in the attempted attack, which took place in the Garden City neighborhood of the capital, next to the British Embassy. Both buildings are heavily fortified. The Embassy of Israel does not yet have a new building after the previous structure was attacked by a mob on September 9, 2011.

Egypt’s Interior Ministry said Sameea intended to use the chemicals in a “hostile” act but offered no further details.

Police were shown arresting the suspect in a video posted on social media. He was led away after a search in which shoes and pants were stripped off.

American citizens were advised in a tweet by the U.S. Embassy warning of a “reported incident” near the building to avoid the area. Within an hour, the embassy tweeted that police had completed their investigations at the scene and that the embassy was resuming normal business.