Egypt’s general prosecution has ordered the referral of what it described as a terrorist cell to criminal court on charges of collaborating with Al Qaeda.
According to a statement by the prosecutor-general released on Monday, the four defendants accused of being members of the cell are Egyptians Amr Mohamed Abulela Aqida, Mohamed Abdel-Halim Hemida and Mohamed Mostafa Mohamed Ibrahim, and Daoud Al-Asady, a Kurd whose nationality was not specified.
The three Egyptians are in detention, while Al-Asady is at large.
They face charges of providing Al Qaeda with information on the Egyptian army and their bases in Sinai, attacking military and police personnel and institutions, jeopardising the safety of the society, and attempting to overthrow the government by force, among others.
The defendants confessed that they formed a terrorist cell in 2013 and planned, but didn’t execute, terrorist attacks against the American and French embassies and their workers, according to the statement.
The prosecution did not state when the three Egyptians were arrested.
Egypt has been facing ongoing militant attacks concentrated in the Sinai Peninsula since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, along with bombings and drive-by shootings targeting police and military personnel in several governorates.
The potential penalty for membership of a terrorist organisation is five years in prison, while a conviction of leading such a group or of conspiracy or spying could carry life imprisonment or the death penalty, according to Article 86 of the Egyptian penal code.
Source : Ahram