13 de­fen­dants in ‘Aj­nad Misr’ trial sen­tenced to death

The fi­nal ver­dict is to be an­nounced on 7 De­cem­ber

The Daily News Egypt - - Politics -

The Giza Crim­i­nal Court re­ferred the pa­pers of 13 de­fen­dants to the Grand Mufti in the trial of “Aj­nad Misr” to re­view their death sen­tences. On 7 De­cem­ber, the court will is­sue the fi­nal ver­dict and de­cide the fate of the rest of the de­fen­dants.

The case in­cludes a to­tal of 44 de­fen­dants, who are ac­cused of es­tab­lish­ing a ter­ror­ist group and of tar­get­ing and killing a num­ber of se­cu­rity forces. Late Pros­e­cu­tor-Gen­eral Hisham Barakat re­ferred the de­fen­dants to the Giza Crim­i­nal Court based on ev­i­dence of tar­get­ing se­cu­rity per­son­nel in dif­fer­ent ar­eas na­tion­wide.

They are charged of con­duct­ing at least 20 bomb at­tacks in Egypt. In April 2015,the Giza Crim­i­nal Court im­posed a me­dia gag on the case. De­fen­dants are ac­cused of killing se­cu­rity per­son­nel, as well as un­der­tak­ing acts of van­dal­ism and pos­ses­sion of weapons.Some of the de­fen­dants are ac­cused of at­tack­ing the Egyp­tian Cop­tic Chris­tian com­mu­nity

Aj­nad Misr was re­port­edly formed in 2014, but their ac­tiv­i­ties have been lim­ited.

There are two other tri­als with the same name.

The US de­part­ment of state of­fi­cially des­ig­nated Aj­nad Misr as a “spe­cially des­ig­nated global ter­ror­ist” in 2014, de­scrib­ing it as a “vi­o­lent ex­trem­ist group that splin­tered from An­sar Bayt Al-Maqdis (now known as Si­nai Prov­ince).” It has been also des­ig­nated a ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tion since May 2014 by a Cairo Court ver­dict.

The group claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for a num­ber of sig­nif­i­cant at­tacks,the most re­cent of which is the Roxy Square ex­plo­sion on 16 July 2015 in Cairo’s He­liopo­lis district,which left one po­lice of­fi­cer in­jured.They also claimed a bomb at­tack in early April in the Za­malek district, which re­sulted in the death of one po­lice of­fi­cer.

Aj­nad Misr jus­ti­fied their tar­get­ing of se­cu­rity per­son­nel in a Jan­uary 2015 video by claim­ing that the at­tacks came in re­tal­i­a­tion for “all sorts of crimes against the peo­ple”.Their strat­egy in­cluded vow­ing to at­tack a tar­get, fol­lowed by the re­lease of teasers and ei­ther a video doc­u­ment­ing the op­er­a­tion or a state­ment nar­rat­ing the at­tack.

The group as­serts it fol­lows Is­lam only and “not any group of move­ment in­side Egypt or out­side”. It also ac­cused the Egyp­tian state of “killing Mus­lims”.

How­ever,Aj­nad Misr is not the only rad­i­cal Is­lamist group be­ing pros­e­cuted by the Egyp­tian state on charges of ter­ror­ism.

Another high pro­file group with mem­bers on trial is Si­nai Prov­ince, pre­vi­ously known as An­sar Beit Al-Maqdis. The group changed its name af­ter hav­ing of­fi­cially pledged al­le­giance to “Is­lamic State”.

Bomb­ings have be­come a fre­quent oc­cur­rence across Egypt,with a mil­i­tant in­sur­gency at its peak in North Si­nai and other at­tacks fre­quently oc­cur­ring in Greater Cairo and other gov­er­norates.

One of the most re­cent as­sas­si­na­tion that tar­geted a high-pro­file fig­ure was that of former Pros­e­cu­tor-Gen­eral Hisham Barakat in June 2016. Barakat died on the same day in Nozha Hospi­tal due to in­juries sus­tained in the at­tack.

The de­fen­dants are charged of con­duct­ing at least 20 bomb at­tacks in Egypt

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