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Al-Jama’a Al-Islamiyya leader arrested over terrorism charges: Police - Daily News Egypt

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Al-Jama’a Al-Islamiyya leader arrested over terrorism charges: Police

The defendant was sentenced to life in absentia

Police forces arrested on Monday a leader from Al-Jama’a Al-Islamiyya as he is accused of participating in violence related events.

Abdel Qader Abdel Gawad was sentenced to life in absentia, on charges of participating in violence that erupted in the city of Beni Suef after the dispersal of the Rabaa sit-in in August 2013.

The statement said that the defendant was arrested from 1994 to 2006, and returned to be active in the group after the 2011 January revolution. He was appointed in the Shura Council in 2012, and is a member in the Building and Development party.

After it reached power in 2012, the Islamist movement advocated and pushed for his release, to the extent that former President Mohamed Morsi vowed to negotiate the issue.

Al- Jamaa Al- Islamiya shifted from militancy in 1996 after making ideological revisions and reaching a conclusion to stop considering the state as an enemy. During the 1980s and 1990s, the group entered a bloody conflict with the state, leading to the death of dozens of security forces, citizens, and group members.

After the revision, the group began preaching and performing social works in Upper Egypt and impoverished areas of Cairo and Giza. After the 25 January Revolution, they invaded the political scene through a political party called the Building and Development Party.

They acted as a heavy participant in the Islamist support for Mohamed Morsi before his ouster and months after his removal. However, the group has called for reconciliation and dialogue with the Egyptian state, while acknowledging the difficulty of Morsi’s return.

Early this year, the Cairo Criminal Court is still interrogating two prominent leaders of the Al-Jama’a Al-Islamiyya Safwat Abdel Ghany and Alaa Abu El-Nasr. They face accusations of inciting violence and belonging to a terror group. The pair was arrested in July 2014 for the aforementioned charges during participating in the Rabaa Al-Adaweya sit-in, following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi, who was the first Islamic president in Egypt.

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