Weapons seized during raids on Hasm - 9 February, 2018 (Photo courtesy of Egypt Ministry of Interior)
Egypt's High State Security Prosecution ordered a 15-day detention pending investigation of 14 members of the Hasm terrorist group who were arrested on Friday on charges including carrying out terror attacks and assassinating policemen.
The prosecution charged the 14 defendants with joining an outlawed group that aims to suspend the constitution and the law, hinder the state institutions from carrying out their duties, assault the personal freedoms of citizens and harm national unity and social peace, adopting ideas accusing the ruler of being an infidel and attempting to change the regime by force, as well as assaulting army and policemen with the aim of disrupting public order and jeopardising the security and safety of society through terrorism as a means to achieve its goals.
The defendants were also charged with murder and attempted murder, possession of explosives and unlicensed and banned weaponry and ammunition that they were plotting to use in terror operations to disturb security, public order, national unity and social peace.
The detention order comes one day after Egypt's interior ministry arrested the men during raids on suspected terrorist hideouts in the governorates of Qalioubiya, Daqahliya, Beheira, Menoufiya, Sharqiya, Assiut and Fayoum, as part of a comprehensive security plan to confront terrorism.
Police also said they killed three members of Hasm in a shootout in an under-construction residential building in Cairo during one of yesterday's raids.
Police said the 14 members of Hasm, which the government considers one of the armed wings of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, were found on Friday in possession of nine machine guns, a Heckler submachine gun, four pistols, a locally made shotgun, different types of ammunition, two explosive canisters, a silencer, and two motorcycles used in terror operations, which included a number of assassinations of senior policemen in Qalioubiya and Daqahliya, as well as attacks on police checkpoints.
The police raids against Hasm came on the same day the Egyptian Armed Forces launched Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018 to eradicate terrorism in north and central Sinai and other parts of the country.