Egypt condemns 7 to death over Daesh links, Copt beheading
Agence France Presse
CAIRO: An Egyptian court Saturday condemned seven people to death for belonging to Daesh (ISIS) and beheading 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in a Libyan beach, judicial officials said.
Daesh in Libya posted a video of the beheadings online in 2015, prompting international condemnation and leading Egypt to carry out airstrikes against the group in the neighboring Arab state.
Three of the seven were sentenced to death in absentia, the officials said. An unspecified number of those condemned were accused of having taken part in the beheadings.
Death sentences in Egypt are subject to review by the country's mufti as the official interpreter of Islamic law, although his verdict is not legally binding.
Prosecutors accused the seven suspects of membership of a Daesh cell in Marsa Matruh, northwest Egypt, and of planning attacks after having received military training at jihadist camps in Libya and Syria.
Verdicts are to be issued on November 25 against 13 others on trial in the same case.
In May, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said Daesh’s military losses in war-torn Syria were driving its fighters to try to relocate to Libya and the Sinai Peninsula of eastern Egypt.
Egypt has been battling an insurgency by a Daesh affiliate based in North Sinai since the military ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
Hundreds of members of Egypt's security forces have been killed, while more than 100 Copts have died in church bombings since December.