22 Referred to Egyptian Criminal Court for ‘Terrorist Acts’ – State Agency

Twenty-two individuals said to belong to militant group Ajnad Misr were referred to criminal court on Sunday for committing “terrorist acts”, including attacks on Egypt’s High Court, state agency MENA said.

They face charges of murder and attempted murder of security personnel, attempted murder of civilians on a public bus, joining a group established in violation of the law, among a string of other charges.

Prosecutors’ investigation said the defendants carried out multiple attacks between October of last year and May, targeting police stations and security personnel.

Explosions occurred in the vicinity of the High Court in central Cairo twice, in October 2014 and in March 2015.

The High Court hosts the office of the state’s highest prosecutor, who was killed in a bomb attack targeting his motorcade last week.

Prior to his assassination, late prosecutor general Hisham Barakat approved the referral of the 22 defendants to criminal court.

Egypt has faced a rise in militancy since July 2013, especially in the Sinai peninsula.

However, last week militants escalated the scale of their attacks when Sinai-based militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis conducted a string of attacks on a number of security checkpoints and a police station in the Sinai town of Sheikh Zuweid on Wednesday, in a failed attempt to take over the town.

The attacks claimed the lives of 17 army personnel and injured 13, according to military figures. The army announced on Saturday that in the three days after the attack it killed 205 militants in North Sinai.