FILE - President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi - Reuters
CAIRO – 4 February 2019: Cairo criminal court will issue its verdict in the case in which 292 people are accused of attempting to assassinate Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and former Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef in Saudi Arabia.
The defendants are accused of planning to assassinate Sisi in August 2014, which marked Sisi’s performance of Umrah rituals in Saudi Arabia. Umrah, considered the “lesser” pilgrimage, is an Islamic rite that can be performed at any time of the year in Mecca.
The defendants are facing a long list of accusations, such as plotting terrorist attacks, being members of a terrorist group affiliated with IS and planning several assassination attempts, including of President Sisi.
The 19,000-paper-case includes several details about the investigations and statements. It was asserted that the plan included more than one attempt to assassinate Sisi. According to the investigation, the IS affiliated-Sinai Province terrorist group thought that Sisi was going to stay at the Swissotel Makkah, so they set a suicidal plan in which one of the wives of the terrorist members, named Mirvat, was going to take explosives into the hotel. The plan depended on the Mecca regulation that says women cannot be searched inside the kingdom, especially if they are working inside the hotel. At the time, Sisi did not stay in the hotel.
A second attempt was planned by a group of dismissed police officers who were religious hardliners. It was stated in the investigations that the officers cooperated with a dentist who was also known for his extremist thoughts. Several meetings were organized inside his clinic, according to the findings of investigations.
The plan was to target Sisi’s procession in the street. Working as police officers for a period of time gave them the knowledge how to access the needed information for the assassination attempt; however, all of their efforts were foiled.
The 292 defendants in this case are also accused of assassinating three judges in Arish, targeting several police officers and army check points, and planting roadside bombs.
However, these are not the first assassination attempts to target Sisi since the Muslim Brotherhood was toppled. As he was still a candidate for president in May 2014, he revealed in an interview that he faced two assassination attempts.