Cairo- Cairo Criminal Court has sentenced one of the Egyptians returning from Syria to 25 years in prison on Tuesday after being convicted of joining ISIS and fighting in its ranks.
Meanwhile, the same court also sentenced 43 activists to life in prison in a retrial of anti-government protesters who clashed with authorities in January 2011 in the case that was dubbed by local media “Cabinet clashes,” a reference to the Cabinet building where the unrest occurred.
Sherif El Sayyed El Shishtawy, known as “Abou Soheib” was sentenced to life in prison for joining the terrorist organization “ISIS” in Syria from April 2013 to May 2015, received military training and participated in attacks that did not target Egypt.
Dozens of extremist Egyptians headed to Syria during the rule of former President Mohamed Morsi in 2012 to fight with extremist organizations against Bashar al-Assad ruling.
Based on its own investigation, The Soufan Group, which is directed by a former FBI agent, has calculated that between 27,000 and 31,000 people have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS and other violent extremist groups from at least 86 countries; 850 of them were from Egypt.
As the fighting in Syria continued, with little achievement, many of these fighters returned to their countries of origin, posing a security threat to Egypt, which feared they would carry out terrorist acts inside the country.
In another case, the Egyptian criminal court sentenced 43 activists to life in prison (25 years). The 43 defendants had been charged with rioting, vandalism and attacking security forces during clashes with police and the army in Cairo in December 2011, in which at least 17 people were killed and almost 2,000 were wounded.
The defendants were also fined more than 17 million Egyptian pounds ($948,661) combined for vandalizing public property during the clashes.
Nine others were sentenced to 10 years in prison and one to five years, while 92 were acquitted.
The same court previously sentenced 230 people to life in prison in the same case in February 2015, with 39 minors sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
All defendants were sentenced in absentia, with the exception of activist Ahmed Douma, who was present during the trial as he was serving another sentence at the time.
In this context, spokesman of the Egyptian army Colonel Tamer Rifai announced Tuesday the results of the confrontations between the armed forces and the extremist groups in northern Sinai over the past week.
He said that armed forces managed to “kill 40 Takfiri elements and arrested five others in addition to destroying 52 terrorist hotbeds through successful air raids in al-Arish and Rafah cities in Northern Sinai over the past 7 days.”
“They also destroyed 20 vehicles of different types and four motorcycles used by Takfiri elements,” Rifai added.