116 people accused of IS affiliation referred to military prosecution in Egypt

Ahram Online , Tuesday 16 Aug 2016

State Security investigators accused the defendants of various charges including attempted murder and running a terrorist group

Egypt's State Security prosecution referred on Tuesday 116 people accused of Islamic State (IS) affiliation to military prosecutors, reported Al-Ahram Arabic website.

State Security investigators accused the defendants of forming and running a terrorist group, attempted murder, possession of weapons, being in contact with IS and possessing written materials promoting violence against the state.

Egypt has been battling an Islamist insurgency waged by IS-affiliate Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis in North Sinai over the past few years. While violence has mainly been focused in northern Sinai, several attacks targeting security forces have taken place in the capital.

Since the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, the Muslim Brotherhood group, from which Morsi hails, has been banned and labelled by the government a terrorist group. Hundreds of its members have since been arrested, with some facing terrorism charges.  

Egypt's 2014 constitution gives military tribunals jurisdiction over crimes committed against army facilities and personnel, an article that has caused controversy, with opponents insisting that civilians should not be subject to military trials.

Last year, Egypt executed six men found guilty by a military court of planning terrorist operations, shooting at security forces, attacking military facilities and naval ships and being members of Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis.

The IS-affiliate has claimed responsibility for dozens of attacks against army and police forces in Egypt over the past several years.

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