Evidently aware of the widespread shock and revulsion at the high death toll, the group tried to shift responsibility to the Egyptian authorities — claiming the "brave" gunmen would merely have kidnapped the foreigners, had police not opened fire so quickly.
Which is, of course, hogwash. According to eyewitness accounts, the killers started slashing and shooting as soon as they arrived at the temple. And TIME Cairo correspondent Armany Radwan faults the cops for the exact opposite reason: "It took a long time for reinforcements to arrive at the scene, which made for the very high death toll." If they were trying to take hostages, the Islamic Group had a strange way of going about it.