Al-Qaeda Head's Brother to Face Trial in Egypt
Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri's brother is to stand trial with 67 others for forming a "terrorist group" and plotting attacks after Islamist president Mohammed Morsi's ouster, AFP reported Sunday, citing Egyptian state media.
Mohammed al-Zawahiri was arrested last August, a month after Morsi's ouster by the army, and has been called to go on trial by the state prosecutor, the report said.
Zawahiri and the other suspects are accused of having set up an "Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group" that plotted attacks against government installations, security personnel and members of Egypt's Christian minority, state news agency MENA said.
The group was seeking to "spread chaos and undermine security" across Egypt, the agency said.
It said 50 of the accused were in custody, while others are on the run.
Judicial sources said investigations revealed the group had pressed members to go and fight the regime in Syria, but they were ordered to return to Egypt after June 30, 2013.
They were called back to confront Egypt's new authorities following Morsi's ouster, the sources added.
Judicial sources said Zawahiri was being charged with having formed the group, armed its members, and trained them in manufacturing explosives and planting bombs.
They said the authorities had evidence that the group's members were trained at secret locations in the Nile Delta city of Sharqiya and in Cairo's Matareya and October 6 districts.
Since Morsi's ouster, there have been frequent terrorist attacks in Egypt, which the military-backed regime has blamed on the Muslim Brotherhood, insisting there is a connection between the Brotherhood and Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis, which has claimed responsibility for the majority of the attacks.
More than 1,400 people have died in street clashes since Morsi’s ouster and thousands have been imprisoned.