FILE- Defendants of Rabaa Dispersal Trial - Egypt Today- Khaled Kamel
CAIRO – 26 April 2018: Court of Cassation ruled on Thursday to uphold a decision to add 26 defendants on terror list over accusations of being involved in a bombing that killed six security officers near the Pyramids of Giza in 2015.
A primary ruling was released to list the defendants on terror lists for three years as per the aforementioned charge. The Hasm Movement claimed its responsibility for an explosion near the Giza Pyramids.
The prosecution drew a list of charges against the defendants, including forming a terror organization; leading an outlawed group to disable state institutions; attacking the personal freedom of citizens guaranteed in the constitution, and harming national unity and social peace by forming special committees affiliated with the terror-designated Muslim Brotherhood group in Giza, aiming to topple the regime and attack individual, public and tourism establishments.
Security authorities believe that the Brotherhood and other extremist factions are interlinked. The Muslim Brotherhood was designated as a terrorist group in 2013 after committing several terrorist attacks to destabilize Egypt and incite interior chaos.
In 2015, a statement by the Interior Ministry revealed that an investigation identified extremist groups that have the same directions as the Brotherhood; Ajnad Misr, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, Gamaa Islamiyya, and Hazemoun.
The Brotherhood has capitalized on the intellectual compatibility between the Brotherhood and the other extremist factions, and their transitory strategic goal to spread violence under the pretext of jihadism, the statement said.
Timeline of names added to terror lists
On April 19, Cairo’s Court of Cassation upheld a primary ruling to list 46 defendants as terrorists, over the killing of former Attorney General Hisham Barakat.
The defendants are facing other charges that include being associated with the Palestinian militant group Hamas, aiming to foment instability in the country and illegally possessing firearms.
On April 22, the same court rejected an appeal submitted by 13 defendants over their placement on the terror list for their involvement in the case known as “Qualitative Committees”, and approved the rule of the listing.
Qualitative committees are established contrary to the provisions of law, to prevent state institutions and public authorities from carrying out their duties, and from violating the personal freedoms of citizens; this incident took place from the beginning of 2014 until March 28, 2016.
On April 24, a total of 161 defendants were added to the list of terrorist figures. The defendants were charged in the case known in the media as the “Ansar Beit al-Maqdes case”.
The defendants are charged with several crimes, such as joining a terrorist group aiming to destruct state institutions, assaulting the rights and freedoms of citizens, damaging national unity and social peace, and assaulting army and police forces.
Ansar Beit El Maqdis has claimed responsibility for most of the major attacks against security forces and their installations, with the deadliest assaults taking place in Sinai.
According to the last amendment to the citizenship law issued by the Egyptian Parliament on Sept. 21, “The Egyptian citizenship will be withdrawn from the person who is found guilty of participating in a terrorist act, communicating with terrorists or gathering information for terrorists,” meaning that the Egyptian citizenship will be withdrawn from the defendants.
How names appear on terror lists
Since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi on July 3, 2013, Egypt has put several figures on a proscribed terrorist list because of their attempts to incite chaos across the country, which was updated on Tuesday with 319 new names. Egypt Today gives an overview on the process of designating terrorists.
As part of Egypt’s efforts to fight terrorism, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi issued a new law in 2015 that gives a broad definition of terrorist entities and the sentences against them.
The law defines terrorist entities as a group or individuals that "through any means inside or outside the country, seek to call for the disabling of laws, or prevent state institutions or public authorities from functioning, or seek to attack the personal liberty of citizens, or other freedoms and rights granted to citizens by the law and constitution, or to harm national unity or social peace."
It also includes those who would commit attacks either inside or outside Egypt.
According to the law on terrorist entities (law No. 8/2015), the general prosecution shall create a proscribed terrorist list which is referred to by the Egyptian court, and has the final say as to individuals’/groups’ designation as terrorists.
Those who are blacklisted in accordance with the law are “placed on travel ban lists, prevented from entering the country, have their travel passports withdrawn, are not allowed to have new travel passports, lose the stipulation of good reputation, and shall not be allowed to join parliament or take charge of public posts." The designation decision can be appealed.
Egypt has designated the Muslim Brotherhood, the Sinai-based militant group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, the Islamic State group, Palestinian Hamas's military wing and Al-Qassam Brigades as terrorist groups for their violent acts, their attempts to incite chaos across the country and destabilize Egypt and for claiming responsibility for a number of deadly attacks on security forces.
Most of the group’s members and leaders are either in prisons or have fled the country.
The list was updated on Tuesday with 319 new names added for three years until the court takes its final decision, and 14 others removed, as they were either dead or the time limit of their designation had expired. The Sinai Province (Wilayat Sinai) group was also added to the list of terror entities for three years, per a ruling by the Cairo Criminal Court.
Last month, the names of Abdel-Moniem Aboul-Fotouh and 15 others were added to the terror list after a court decision that found them to be members of the Brotherhood, thus rendering their party, the Strong Egypt Party which Aboul Fotouh heads, as a political arm to the terrorist organization.
Furthermore, among those on the terrorist list are famous Egyptian footballer Mohamed Abou Trika for funding the banned Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi, Mohammed Badie, MB Guide Mahmoud Ezzat and the son-in-law of former Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat al-Shater, Ayman Abd al-Ghani.
Additional reporting by Marina Gamil, Hanan Fayed and Walaa Ali