Eight suspected members of a militant Islamist group were referred to a military court Saturday by Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat on charges of attacking security forces personnel and property.
According to investigations, it is alleged the accused are members of Jond Allah (God’s Soldiers), a small militant group formed in mid-2014, state news reported. Supreme State Security prosecution claim that the group’s leader, Mohamed Ibrahim Ali Shafea, has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State militant group.
The defendants will face charges in a military court, including: belonging to a terrorist group seeking to overthrow the state; the targeting of Christians; the production and possession of weapons; attempting to blow up a military train; and killing army personnel. The incident occurred in Minya, Upper Egypt in November 2014, when the defendants attempted to use an explosive device on a passing military train but which failed to detonate.
Other defendants in the case include a man named Hassan Abu Marwan, accused of training militants, and a woman named Shaimaa M, who is accused of financially supporting the group.
A decree passed by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on 27 October 2014 greatly expanded the scope of Egypt’s military courts. This now allows for any civilian charged with attacking “public and vital” property, including trains, to be tried by the closed-door tribunals.
The trials have been used in cases involving many suspected Islamist militants who are suspected to be behind the rise in terrorism in Egypt. The violence increased following the July 2013 ouster of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi, but has been gathering pace in 2015.
Last week, a blast left two dead when a bomb exploded outside the Cairo High Court on Monday. Explosions associated with militant activities have become an almost daily occurrence in across the country.
In February, Daily News Egypt reported the case of a nine-year-old child in Fayoum who is due to face military court.