Leader of Al Murabitun terrorist group, Hisham Ashmawy – File photo
CAIRO – 4 February 2021: A Cairo criminal court adjourned on Thursday the first hearing of the trial of 12 defendants in a case dubbed in the media as "Hisham Ashmawy Cell" to March 7, 2021 for make the defendants before the court.
According to the investigations, the defendants accused of forming a terrorist cell aimed at disturbing public order, endangering society’s safety, interests and security, and disrupting the provisions of the constitution and laws in the period between 2013 and April 2016.
The defendants’ cell was named after terrorist Hisham Ashmawy, who was executed in March 2020 over terrorism related crimes.
The ex-special forces officer turned militant was convicted in many terror attacks, including the 2013 assassination bid against then interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim.
Ashmawy was involved in the assassination of top prosecutor Hisham Barakat and other attacks including Al-Wahat terror assault, which led to the death of 16 Egyptian security personnel.
He was also found guilty for attempting to assassinate former interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim, plotting to target ships crossing the Suez Canal, as well as helping a member of the Ansar Beit al-Maqdis terrorist group escape from a government hospital in Ismailia.
In this case, there are 208 defendants who are charged with 54 crimes that consist of assassinations of policemen, attempted murder of former Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim, and bombings of security institutions’ buildings.
Ashmawy was a former army officer and was captured in Libya late in 2018 by forces of the Libyan National Army.
Earlier in November, a military court sentenced Ashmawy to death for his participation in scores of attacks on government targets. In recent years, he has been considered the country’s most wanted terrorist for his intelligence expertise.