Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat referred Wednesday 23 members of ‘Ansar Al-Sharia Brigades in Egypt’ to trial.
A prosecution statement said investigations suggest the group targeted several police and military personnel after the dispersal of sit-ins supporting former president Mohamed Morsi in August 2013. These actions lead to the murder of one police officer and 10 police personnel, and the attempted murder of 10 other people.
Of the 23 referred to trial, 17 are in custody and the rest are at large.
Investigations cited in the statement indicate that an unemployed 35-year-old “set up and administered” the “terrorist” group, based on extremist thoughts. These include: considering state authorities infidels; confronting them to forcibly change the regime; assaulting police and military personnel and facilities; and permitting the murder of Christians and destruction of their churches.
The investigations further suggest that the founder attracted 22 people into the organisation and convinced them with the extremist ideas. He reportedly taught them how to detect security monitoring, going undercover, adopting noms de guerre, changing cellular phone numbers regularly, and even sent some of them to Syria for training in guerrilla warfare. He also trained them in the production and use of explosives, providing them with four headquarters to hold meetings and store weapons and explosives.
Security forces, whether military or police, and security buildings have been heavily targeted since Morsi’s ouster. Over 500 members of the police and army have been killed since the 25 January Revolution.