The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters announced Monday that it would decide whether to categorise the Sinai militant group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis as a terrorist organisation on April 14.
Monday was the first hearing for a lawsuit asking the cabinet declare Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis a terrorist group, Al-Ahram reported. In December, the Egyptian Cabinet declared the Muslim Brotherhood, which has denied any relations to Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, a terrorist organisation. The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters legalised the decision on 24 February.
Before the court hearing, Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis released a statement announcing that the six militants killed during an anti-terrorist raid in Qaliubiya Governorate 19 March were among its members. Two military officers died during the raid, which lasted seven hours.
As one of the most active militant groups in Egypt, Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis has claimed numerous attacks since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July. The attacks were all aimed at military and police officers and institutions, until the bombing of a tourist bus on 18 February. The incident that took place in Taba, near Egypt’s borders with Israel, killed three South Korean tourists and the Egyptian bus driver.
The group claimed responsibility for shooting down a military helicopter in North Sinai on 25 January, killing five soldiers, and took credit for bombing a natural gas pipeline in the town of Al-Arish several times. The pipeline, which runs to an industrial area, has been bombed around 20 times since the 25 January Revolution in 2011.
Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis has also claimed a number of attacks in the Greater Cairo area, including the assassination of General Mohamed Al-Saied, head of the Minister of Interior’s technical office , and the attempted assassination of Minister of Interior Mohammed Ibrahim in September of last year.