Egypt Seizes Weapons, Arrests 12 Accused of Plot to Topple Regime

Egyptian security forces arrested 12 men on charges of plotting to overthrow the government and seized large caches of weapons and explosives in raids on four alleged terrorist cells in and around Cairo, Al-Masry Al-Youm reports.

al-monitor Policemen in front of Interior Ministry building in Cairo, Oct. 31, 2012. Photo by REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany.

Topics covered

terrorism, security, police, military, jihadists, egyptian police, egypt

Nov 1, 2012

Egyptian Security forces managed to arrest four terrorist cells, including cells in Nasr City, the cities of New Cairo and Sayeda Zeinab, and on the desert road from Cairo to Alexandria.

According to investigations by the Supreme State Security Prosecution, 12 individuals are accused of being linked to one person living abroad, who was sending them emails and funds.

They were remanded in custody for 15 days and placed in solitary confinement for security reasons. The men were also charged with seeking to overthrow the government. The detainees, however, denied the charges made against them.

According to an Interior Ministry statement, the detainees were found in possession of large quantities of explosives, sniper and automatic weapons, 10 bags of TNT, rocket-propelled grenades, 83 explosive vials, missile launchers, anti-tank missiles, 63 bombs and explosive belts, a large number of exploding phones, 199 detonators, nine boxes of explosives, 23 sniper bullets, half a kilogram of ball bearings, papers containing method of preparation and installation of explosive bombs, as well as electronic circuits for the preparation of bombs in Cairo's industrial zone.

At first, the security forces seized 83 explosive vials that were in a car on the desert road from Cairo to Ismailia. The security forces arrested two passengers, while two other assailants exchanged fire with the police before fleeing the scene, wounding one security member. Moreover, hand grenades and other explosive materials were also found when searching the car.

Adel Awad Shehto, a leader in the jihadist group said before the prosecutor that he did not know the detainees who were arrested in New Cairo or Nasr City. He also denied possessing any weapons and denied the accusations that he was part of a plan to carry out terrorist acts in the country.

The accused criticized the National Security Service for its method of work, stressing that it was no different from the former regime [of Hosni Mubarak].

Meanwhile, a Tunisian detainee, Mohammed Saeed Merghany, stressed that he came Cairo to work in the technology industry, at the recommendation of the accused, Nabil Abdel-Moneim. He explained that he is an expert in explosives, but did not use his expertise in illegal activities.

He also pointed out that some of the accused in the case have asked him to teach them how to dismantle bombs, claiming that they want to gain experience in this field.

Moreover, former officer Tarik Abu al-Azzem, an accused in the case, said he was not part of the cell, but he has a friendly relationship with the accused. He stressed that he is no longer interested in politics, after he was accused in a criminal military case eight years ago.

More from  Ahmad Shalabi, Hussein Ahmad Hussein, Ibrahim Qaraa