File photo – defendants tried on terrorism charges
CAIRO – 7 October 2019: A relevant court ordered postponing the trial of 555 defendants, who face charges of forming 43 Islamic-State-affiliated terrorist cells, to October 14th, reportedly for circumstances that prevented the defendants from attending the session.
Investigations of each of the prosecution and national security sector at the Ministry of Interior revealed that the terrorist crimes allegedly committed by the defendants in the case focused on North Sinai governorate.
They also disclosed communication between leaders of the cells and IS leaders in Iraq and Syria on a permanent basis. Moreover, a number of elements of these cells, according to the investigations, travelled to Syria to join IS camps for military training. This included learning to use weapons, manufacture explosives, and gain field experience in guerrilla warfare, and street fighting.
They then returned to Egypt to carry out hostile acts against the state, including its institutions and citizens, according to the investigations.
The defendants tracked a group of institutions and public figures, in the context of their planning to commit terrorist attacks, including planning to target the Ministry of Interior headquarters and the Police Academy in New Cairo, as well as a number of ships crossing the Suez Canal and Damietta Port, the investigations added.
They also targeted a church in Cairo's Ezbet El Nakhl district, Anba Shenouda church in Hurghada, and Saint Paul church in Qalyubia's Obour city.
An IS affiliate called Sinai Province has killed hundreds of security personnel in attacks since the military overthrew Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi in 2013.
In February 2018, three months after gunmen killed more than 300 worshipers at a mosuqe in Sinai, the military launched a major campaign to eradicate the county of terrorism existence.