Egypt convicts 65 on terror charges, allegiance to Daesh

An Egyptian court has convicted 65 suspected militants of setting up a terrorist group and declaring allegiance to the extremist group Daesh, sentencing 18 of them to life in prison. (Reuters)
Updated 08 November 2018
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Egypt convicts 65 on terror charges, allegiance to Daesh

  • An Egyptian court on Thursday sentenced 65 suspected Daesh extremists to between five years and life in prison for setting up a "terrorist cell"
  • The alleged cell had members in various parts of impoverished upper Egypt

CAIRO: An Egyptian court on Thursday sentenced 65 suspected Daesh extremists to between five years and life in prison for setting up a "terrorist cell", a court official said.
The alleged cell had members in various parts of impoverished upper Egypt and was led by an "emir" Mostafa Ahmed Abdelaal.
The militants, charged in 2017, had "set up a terrorist cell in Upper Egypt which declared allegiance to (IS leader) Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi", the court official said.
The court sentenced 18 of the defendants to life terms (25 years) and another 41 to 15-year prison terms.
It also handed six minors five years each in jail and acquitted two suspects.
The sentences can be appealed.
Since Egypt's military toppled president Mohamed Morsi in 2014, the government and security forces have cracked down hard on secular opposition and extremism.
The Egyptian branch of Daesh has led an insurgency in North Sinai and carried out attacks across the country.
Egypt's army launched a major offensive in February dubbed "Sinai 2018" to dislodge the insurgents from the peninsula.
More than 450 suspected extremists and around 30 Egyptian soldiers have been killed since the offensive began, the army said in October.
Jihadist attacks in recent years have killed hundreds of police, soldiers and civilians.
Daesh claimed responsibility for an attack last week against Egyptian Christians in Minya province, which killed six Copts and one Anglican.
Egyptian courts have convicted many suspected extremists in mass trials which have been criticised by human rights groups.
An Egyptian military court on Wednesday sentenced eight Daesh members to death for a deadly attack against the army in 2016, officials said.


Iran will not wage war against any nation: Iranian president Hassan Rouhani

Updated 8 min 39 sec ago
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Iran will not wage war against any nation: Iranian president Hassan Rouhani

  • Fears of a confrontation between Iran and the United States have mounted
  • ‘Those facing us are a group of politicians with little experience’

GENEVA: Iran will not wage war against any nation, President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday, a day after the United States announced the deployment of more troops to the Middle East amid rising tensions between Tehran and Washington.

Fears of a confrontation between Iran and the United States have mounted since attacks on two oil tankers at the entrance to the Gulf on Thursday, which Washington has blamed on Tehran.

“Iran will not wage war against any nation,” Rouhani said in a speech broadcast live on state TV. “Those facing us are a group of politicians with little experience.”

He added, “Despite all of the Americans’ efforts in the region and their desire to cut off our ties with all of the world and their desire to keep Iran secluded, they have been unsuccessful.”

Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced on Monday the deployment of about 1,000 more troops to the Middle East for what he said were defensive purposes citing concerns about a threat from Iran.