CAIRO, (AP) – Some 25 Egyptians arrested in November are being questioned by prosecutors for allegedly planning terrorist attacks, a security official and a lawyer said Sunday.
The security official said the suspects were arrested on charges of stockpiling weapons and explosives to be used in “attacks against targets inside Egypt.” The men were arrested in Mansoura, northeast of Cairo, two months ago and are believed to be members of a new Islamic militant group.
The official and lawyer both spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigations.
“They are accused of forming a new Islamic militant group based on ideas of Sayyid Qutb,” said the lawyer referring to an Egyptian ideologue executed in 1966 whose ideas provide much of the intellectual basis for today’s militant groups.
The Egyptian independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm reported Sunday that the group was planning to attack U.S. ships in the Suez Canal and the tomb of revered Jewish holy man, Abu Hatzira in the Nile Delta.
Quoting security officials, the paper also said the group was planning to ship weapons and explosives to Hamas for use in their rockets.
The report added that some of the suspects have received training in the troubled Sudanese region of Darfur.
Egypt security forces have recently reported the arrest of several new militant groups looking to carry out attacks against Egyptian and foreign targets, mainly U.S. and Israeli interests.