Egypt’s chief prosecutor has referred over 550 terror suspects to a military court on charges of joining a local branch of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.
Prosecutor-General Nabil Sadek on Monday referred 555 suspected members of the Velayat Sinai terrorist outfit to a military court on charges of forming 43 terrorist cells.
The terror group, previously known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, pledged allegiance to Daesh in 2014, and has mainly attacked security forces in the restive region of Sinai Peninsula since its inception in 2013. The terrorists have killed hundreds of security forces.
The suspects have been accused of carrying out a total of 63 attacks against army and police forces in northern part of the restive region, Sadek said in a statement, adding that the attacks included killing and plotting to kill security personnel, attacking military checkpoints in Northern Sinai and sabotaging a gas pipeline between Egypt and Jordan.
The statement further said that only 216 out of the 555 suspects were in police custody, and the remaining 339 would be tried in absentia.
Operation Sinai 2018 — which involves security forces mobilized from the air force, navy, army and police –aims to tighten control on border districts and “clean up areas where there are terrorist hotbeds.” The Sinai Peninsula has been under a state of emergency since October 2014.
Terrorists have been targeting both government forces and civilians with terror attacks, taking advantage of the turmoil in Egypt that erupted after the country’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, was ousted in a military coup in July 2013.