Egypt’s public prosecutor has referred 292 suspected Takfiri militants to a military court over charges of planning to assassinate President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the Saudi crown prince, an Egyptian official says.
The prosecution official said Sunday that the suspects were affiliated to the Takfiri Velayat Sinai terrorist group, an affiliate of Daesh.
The source added that the suspects, including 151 currently in custody, had been questioned and 66 of them had confessed during a probe that lasted over a year.
The suspects were reportedly involved in 17 operations, including two plots to assassinate Sisi, one while he was in Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj pilgrimage and another in Cairo, the official said.
The official did not elaborate on the plots but said that those who planned the assassination attempts were sacked police officers who espoused Takfiri ideologies.
The suspects also planned to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef in Saudi Arabia and five Egyptian judges, the judicial source further said, without giving details.
The suspects also face charges of attacking army and police checkpoints and bases in the Sinai Peninsula. The prosecution also accuses them of being behind a February 2014 attack on a bus carrying South Korean tourists in a resort in south Sinai, which claimed the lives of three holidaymakers.
Velayat Sinai has been responsible for most attacks in the Sinai Peninsula as well as the capital, Cairo. Such attacks have increased since the 2013 ouster by the military of Egypt’s first democratically-elected president Mohamed Morsi.
A state of emergency was declared in Sinai in 2014 following a deadly assault that claimed the lives of over 30 soldiers.
Massive military operations have been underway against the militants in northern Sinai.