Egypt refers 6 alleged members of a Daesh-affiliated group to court for targeting churches, military

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Saturday 21 Apr 2018

File Photo: Egypt's general prosecutor Nabil Sadek (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egypt’s prosecutor-general referred six defendants to the Supreme State Security Emergency Criminal Court on Saturday on charges of creating a Daesh-affiliated terrorist cell.

The defendants were detained in the Nile Delta governorate of Gharbiya after being accused of planning an attack on St Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church in Mahalla during Christmas celebrations in 2017.

Ammunition, explosive material, and weaponry were also found in the possession of the accused.

The prosecution charged the defendants with a number of crimes, including establishing and joining a terrorist organisation in which aims to subvert the law and the constitution.

Defendants are also accused of embracing “takfiri” ideologies, which encourage the idea of declaring the ruling as infidel thus legitimizing his ouster.

The Arabic word "takfiri" refers to hardline Sunni Muslims who accuse other Muslims of being infidels, often as a justification for using violence against them.

The prosecution said they were accused of allegedly attacking the members of the armed forces and the police as well as Christian citizens and their churches.

The defendants are also accused of funding the Daesh-affiliated organisation that they created.

Initial investigation reports of the defendants show that the cell members have received orders to create an affiliate terrorist group to Daesh in Mahalla to propagate their ideology on the internet.

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