The Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Monday 10 defendants to death in the ‘Al-Zawahiri cell’, following their conviction on charges of creating a terrorist organisation, state media reported.
Mohamed Al-Zawahiri, brother of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, is not among those who were given a death sentence. The court referred the files of the 10 defendants to the Grand Mufti to approve the sentences, while postponing the final verdict to 27 September.
There were originally 68 defendants in the case, but two defendants have since died. The first, Abdel Rahman Al-Sayed, was executed in May. Al-Sayed was part of the so-called “Arab Sharkas” cell, whose members were prosecuted by a military court. The second was former jihadist, Nabil Al-Maghraby, who died in prison last June.
The defendants were charges with establishing and managing a terrorist organisation linked to Al-Qaeda, and conducting attacks on army and Ministry of Interior officers, in addition to Christians and their houses of worship. They were also accused of committing “terrorist acts” with the aim of spreading chaos in the country.
Egyptian courts are trying a number of “terrorist cells” on similar charges, including the “Arab Sharkas” cell, the “Tanta Jihadist” cell, the Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis militant group, the Missiles cell, the Ansar Al-Shari’a Brigades and Ajnad Misr.