The Cairo Criminal Court has handed death sentences to four individuals who were accused of ties to Al-Qaeda in the time period between 2008 and 2013. The Grand Mufti now has to confirm the death sentences, and the final verdict will be issued on 8 February.
The four defendants, two of whom are still at large and were tried in absentia, were found guilty of founding and managing an organisation affiliated with Al-Qaeda, according to state-run television.
The defendants were also found guilty of working for a “terrorist organisation” based outside of Egypt. The court said the men had been in contact with Al-Qaeda leaders abroad and had cooperated with them to carry out operations targeting the armed forces in Sinai. They also stood accused of operations targeting the US and French embassies in Cairo and their diplomatic representatives, added the statement by state-run television.
The embassies of Canada and the United Kingdom shut down in early December citing unspecified security threats. The US embassy, however, remained open, amid tightened security measures.