Egypt arrests 3 for supporting IS on Facebook

Egypt arrests 3 for supporting IS on Facebook
Police in southern town of Akhmim in Sohag province have arrested three men for promoting IS "ideas and concepts" over the internet - the first arrests under new anti-terror laws.
2 min read
24 August, 2015
Following Morsi's ousting, a long-running insurgency in Sinai has surged [Getty]
Egyptian police have for the first time arrested three individuals under a new anti-terrorism law who are accused of spreading propaganda of the Islamic State group [IS] through Facebook.

The police directorate in the Upper Egyptian province of Sohag said on Sunday the three were in possession of two laptops containing IS videos.

President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi approved a new law last week that sets a wide-ranging definition of terrorism and prescribes harsh punishments.

The 54-article bill punishes people convicted of inciting violence on or offline by five to seven years in prison.

It has also set up “special courts” to expedite terrorism trials, which will be closed to the public.

Sisi has waged a crackdown on Islamists and other opponents since 2013, when he led the military overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi, the country's first freely elected president, during mass protests against his rule.

Following Morsi's ousting, a long-running insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula surged, with attacks targeting security forces there and on the mainland. The most powerful insurgent group pledged allegiance to IS last year.

Police have previously arrested people for running social media pages that “promote violence” and posted detailed information on policemen.

On Monday, a bomb struck a bus carrying policemen, killing two and wounding 24, officials said, the latest IS attack against security forces.