CAIRO: Ajnad Misr is allegedly behind the March 2 bombing at the High Court in downtown Cairo, and was planning explosions in the vicinity of the U.S. embassy and the Cabinet when one of its members was arrested Friday, according to Youm7.
Islam Shehata, 29, was arrested Friday allegedly in possession of explosive devices; and allegedly admitted to having perpetrated the High Court bombing that killed two bypassers and maimed others.
Aside from his reported confessions, investigations also claimed he is implicated in the attack and was present at the scene of the explosion after he detonated the bomb by calling the cell phone inside it, Youm7 reported.
Shehata told investigators he was also implicated in a January 2014 bombing outside Cinema Radobis on Haram Street in Giza, which killed a passerby. Shehata also said the alleged at-large leader of Ajnad Misr, Emad Saeed, is complicit in the attacks.
In December 2014, Attorney-General Hisham Barakat referred 21 defendants, only eight of whom are in custody, to the criminal court in relation to the Cinema Radobis attacks and other minor explosions, according to Youm7. Investigations claimed the group met at the 2013 Rabaa al-Adaweya sit-in and created their “terrorist cell.”
Are Egypt’s “extremist” groups interlinked?
Ajnad Misr is designated by Egypt and the U.S. as a terrorist organization. A Twitter account that claims it is affiliated with the group did not claim responsibility for High Court attacks. Usually, attacks that kill civilians are not claimed.
While groups like the Giza Popular Brigades and Revolutionary Punishment have perpetrated deadly attacks, their announced operations largely remain limited to blocking roads and sabotaging public and private properties.
Ajnad Misr, on the other hand, has claimed responsibility for high-profile attacks, such as killing two officers in the vicinity of the Foreign Ministry, two others near Itihadiya presidential palace, and injuring dozens outside Cairo and Ain Shams universities in 2014.
However, relations between these groups are still a gray area. A bomb that killed an officer in Giza was claimed by both Ajnad Misr and Giza Popular Brigades. The latter often releases information on attacks perpetrated by Revolutionary Punishment.
One of the suspects arrested for another Cinema Radobis explosion in March 2014 told investigators he is affiliated with Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in November 2014.