Prosecutors detail ISIL assassination plots against Egypt’s Sisi

by WorldTribune Staff, November 21, 2016

Nearly 300 alleged members of Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) have been referred for prosecution on charges of plotting to assassinate Egyptian President Abdul Fatah Sisi.

Egypt’s prosecution on Nov. 20 said 292 suspects were referred to a military court after a year-long investigation uncovered two plots to assassinate Sisi, the website of the Al-Ahram newspaper reported on Nov. 20.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi performing the 'umrah' at the Haaj in Saudi Arabia in August 2014.
President Abdul Fatah Sisi, right, performs the ‘umrah’ at the Haaj in Saudi Arabia in August 2014.

The first assassination attempt came in 2014 as Sisi performed a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, prosecutors said.

Investigators said the attempt, which also targeted Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, involved members from terrorist cells in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The prosecution did not specify how the plot was foiled.

The second attempt was allegedly orchestrated by a terrorist cell consisting of seven members – six former police officers and a dentist – who planned to attack the president’s convoy using explosive charges as it traveled in Cairo, according to Al-Ahram.

The investigation found that the six former police officers were members of the “bearded police officers” group formed in 2012, whose members said they would grow their beards in accordance with their interpretation of Islamic doctrine. Authorities say the former security officials planned to use their expertise to target the president’s convoy as it moved through Cairo.

Prosecutors said a number of the suspects were also responsible for carrying out a number of terrorist attacks in the Sinai Peninsula, including the bombing of a tourist bus in the resort town of Taba in February 2014 that killed two South Koreans and an Egyptian driver.

Some of the suspects were also involved in the assassination attempt on interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim in September 2013. Ibrahim survived the attack, which occurred as a car bomb ripped through Ibrahim’s convoy as he was leaving home for work. One person was killed but Ibrahim, who was traveling in an armored car, survived the attempt unhurt.