MB-affiliate and TV host Moa'taz Matar - Official Facebook page
CAIRO – 26 June 2018: Egypt placed 187 defendants affiliated to the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood group on the terror list for five years, in the case known as Talae’ Hasm (fledglings of Hasm) which is an offshoot to the outlawed Hasm group.
As per today’s verdict, Salafist preacher Wagdy Ghoniem, other fleeing Muslim brotherhood members and media figures working at channels operating in Qatar and Turkey, including Mo’ataz Matar, Mohamed Nasr, Haitham Abou Khalil and Nasser Abo Khalil, were designated as terrorists and were banned from entering Egypt and were charged with being mouthpieces of the terrorists.
The defendants faced charges of assisting the Muslim brotherhood-affiliated armed wings to escalate their use of violence against the state institutions by communicating with terrorist elements inside the country to form a new group named Talae’ Hasm, whose members are well trained on advanced methods to carry out terrorist acts.
According to the investigations of the national security agency, the defendants are working on providing training programs to the terrorists inside and outside the country to uplift their capabilities. Such programs are divided into two parts; first one is concerned with teaching them how to keep communications secret and private away from the security eyes and second one is about facilitating military trainings to the terrorist groups.
On April 30, 2017, an Egyptian court sentenced Ghoneim to death in absentia for establishing an illegal organization that incited violence against security forces.
In a viral video, Ghoniem appeared justifying suicide bombing by misinterpreting a Quran verse.
The Egyptian authorities also presented memorandum to Interpol, asking them to arrest Ghoneim, who resides in Qatar and Turkey.
In 2015, TV host Mohamed Nasser was sentenced to 10 years in absentia for attempting to overthrow the regime and inciting against the state institutions.
Along with Nasser, and in 2016, Matar was also handed two-year imprisonment in absentia for spreading rumors to create unrest, and inciting violence against police and army officers.
Hasm group is supposedly linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, a group which is deemed illegal in Egypt. However, the Brotherhood’s media spokesman, Talaat Fahmi, denied the Brotherhood’s links to Hasm to Turkish-led Anadul agency in December 2016.
He said the Brotherhood should never be linked to those who commit violence and bloodshed.
Tal’at Habib, a researcher and expert on Islamic movements, previously told Egypt Today that Hasm is directly linked to the Brotherhood’s members and leaders, refuting Fahmi’s statement. Habib cited a Hasm statement that came out after top Brotherhood leader Mohamed Kamal’s death in October 2016, where they vowed revenge for his killing.
Hasm's first statement was issued in July 2016 when the group claimed responsibility for the killing of a senior policeman named Mahmoud Abdel Hamid in Fayoum. Abdel Hamid was the head of the investigations department in Fayoum’s Tamya district.
According to Habib, Hasm is the crystallized form of militant groups that grew out of the Muslim Brotherhood, such as the Ikhwan Brigades and the Popular Resistance. The group was formed after the violent dispersal of Rabaa and al-Nahda sit-ins in July 2013.
“Hasm’s methods and techniques are mainly primitive and of minimal costs,” Habib said. He added that they also get some of their arms by stealing them from police stations and ambushes.
Hasm has maintained a strategy of targeting policemen, not civilians. The group’s members have been involved in attacking several checkpoints and killing policemen stationed there. Their most recent attack took place on July 7, 2017, targeted a police van and left one police officer and three recruits dead in Giza.
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. Egypt Today gives an overview on the process of designating individuals/entities as 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."
Furthermore, among those on the terrorist list are famous Egyptian footballer Mohamed Abou Trika for funding the banned Muslim Brotherhood; Mohammed Badie; MB Guide, Mahmoud Ezzat; and the son-in-law of former Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat al-Shater, Ayman Abdel Ghani.