Egypt’s Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek referred on Sunday 292 members of ISIS-affiliated terrorist group Welayet Sinai to military court for plotting to assassinate Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
The terrorists’ referral to trial comes after a year-long investigation that uncovered two separate assassination attempts on the Egyptian president, state-owned Ahram Online reported.
The first attempt, in 2014, saw the members cooperating with other terrorist cell members in Saudi Arabia to plant explosives at a hotel where President Sisi was expected to stay while he was in Mecca to perform pilgrimage.
The plot also targeted Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef but was unsuccessful in harming either leader.
Meanwhile, the second attempt was allegedly carried out by seven members, six of whom are former police officers, and saw the terrorist cell members attempt to attack President Sisi’s convoy with explosives in Cairo.
According to the Prosecutor General’s statement, the cell members – 158 of whom have been arrested – are also responsible for a number of terrorist attacks in North Sinai, including the assassination of three judges in Al-Arish and a deadly car bombing that targeted the hotel where judges supervising Egypt’s parliamentary elections had been staying.
North Sinai has witnessed a significant uptick in militant violence following the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in 2013, particularly against Egypt’s military.
Last month, Brigadier General Adel Rajaei, a commander of an armored division, was gunned down outside his home in Obour City on the outskirts of Cairo. A group calling itself Lewaa Al-Thawra claimed responsibility shortly before their Twitter account was suspended. However, there have been no confirmations of the claim.
Egypt’s military, in cooperation with local tribes, has waged a war against militancy in North Sinai, killing hundreds of suspected terrorists. An estimated 2100 people were killed in North Sinai in 2015, including roughly 1800 described by the military as “terrorists,” 150 civilians, 40 police officers and conscripts, and 140 military personnel.