Cairo Criminal Court decided on Monday to allow a defense team to plead anew in the case of 213 defendants of Ansar Beit El Maqdis terrorist group who face charges of involvement in 54 terrorist crimes against Egyptian police troops and security premises.
The crimes leveled against the defendants include a failed assassination attempt against former interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim, the murder of a number of police officers and attacks on security facilities, including the security directorates of Cairo, Daqahlia and South Sinai.
The court will hear the defence over four sessions from Monday through Thursday.
Investigations revealed that the defendants were trained in the camps of Ezzel Din el Qassam, the military wing of Palestinian movement Hamas and that they plotted to target ships transiting the Suez Canal.
They also face charges of joining a terrorist group aiming at disrupting national security, collaborating with a foreign organization represented in Hamas to sabotage State institutions, illegal possession of arms and ammunition and premeditated murder.
The 54 terrorist crimes the defendants are implicated in had left 42 policemen and 15 civilians dead and 349 others wounded.
Ansar Beit El Maqdis has claimed responsibility for most of the major attacks against security forces and their installations, with the deadliest assaults taking place in Sinai.