Egypt approves new anti-terrorism law
The Egyptian cabinet led by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab approved a draft anti-terrorism law incriminating any group that attempts to disturb general order or harm social peace as "a terrorist entity", Xinhua reported.
"A terrorist entity refers to each society, organization, group or gang that practices or seeks to by any means disturb public order or undermine the integrity, interests or peace of the society," says Article 1 of the newly-approved "Terrorist Entity Law."
The law has been approved a couple of days ahead of intended anti-government Islamist protests planned for Friday, in preparation for which the authorities have been intensifying security in main squares and around vital institutions across the country.
The new law requires the general prosecution to prepare a list of "terrorist entities" and their leaders to be arrested and brought to justice by concerned authorities after court approval. A group cannot remain on the list if three years pass without a final court order, according to the new law.
Terrorist activities have escalated in Egypt since the overthrow of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi by the military in July 2013 following mass protests against his one-year rule and the massive crackdown on his supporters that left nearly 1,000 killed and thousands more arrested.
Anti-government attacks have since killed hundreds of security men and have extended from the Sinai Peninsula to the capital Cairo and other provinces across the country, with Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM) group claiming responsibility for most of them.
Earlier this year, the Egyptian new leadership under President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi blacklisted the Muslim Brotherhood group, from which Morsi hailed, as "a terrorist organization."