Egyptian judge blames Brotherhood for foiled attack on home

Ahram Online, Wednesday 22 Jan 2014

Judges Club leader Ahmed El-Zend says he knows who carried out Tuesday's failed bomb attack on his home in Tanta

A senior judge has accused the Muslim Brotherhood of carrying out a foiled bomb attack on his home in Tanta, north of Cairo.

Ahmed El-Zend, head of Egypt's Judges Club, and one of the Brotherhood's most vociferous critics within the judiciary, claimed he knew the specific culprits behind the attack.

A bomb containing 1.5kg of explosives with a 40-second timer was placed outside his home in the Nile Delta city of Tanta on Tuesday.

Security forces took more than half an hour to diffuse the bomb, El-Zend told pan-Arab satellite channel Al-Arabiya.

The Judges Club is an unofficial body representing over 90 percent of Egypt's judges.

El-Zend claimed he had previously been subject to an assassination attempt.

He accused the Brotherhood's second-in command, Khairat El-Shater – now in jail and standing trial for murder – of being the "mastermind of all vices" in the "terrorist" movement of deposed president Mohamed Morsi.

The judge was engaged in a battle with Islamists during Morsi's rule over an Islamist-backed draft law which could have forced out thousands of judges by lowering the retirement age.

Minor bomb attempts targeting state and security buildings have become commonplace following the army's ouster of Morsi in July amid mass protests, and a sustained crackdown on his Brotherhood group, which was recently designated a terrorist organisation by the authorities.

A bomb exploded outside a Cairo court just before polls were to open in last week's constitution referendum, leaving no casualties.

A spate of recent explosions in densely populated areas has raised fears that militant activity in the Sinai Peninsula, which has spiked since Morsi's removal, is spreading to other parts of the country.

A court on Sunday ordered Morsi to stand trial for insulting the judiciary alongside 24 others including non-Islamist activists.

The charges are based on a speech by Morsi in which he accused a judge of overseeing electoral fraud in a 2005 vote, state news agency MENA said.

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