Cairo’s prosecutor general said in a statement on Sunday that the country’s President Abdulfatah al-Sisi had faced two previous assassination attempts: one in Saudi Arabia and the second in Egypt.
The prosecutor said two cells, one based in Saudi Arabia, were coordinating to target Sisi during his trip to perform the minor pilgrimage known as umrah in the holy city of Makkah.
The prosecutor said the plot in Saudi Arabia was planned by two workers in the 76-story famous Clock Tower in Makkah.
However, the prosecutor did not disclose when the two cells were arrested, but Sisi had already performed umrah in August 2014.
The second assassination attempt was through a seven-member cell made up of six police officers, who were sacked over their Islamist allegiances, along with a dentist.
The leader of the terrorist cell, former police officer Mohammed al-Bakoutchi, reportedly confessed that he had provided information to Sinai Province, ISIS’s Egyptian affiliate, over the dispersal of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Rabaa sit-in.
He also leaked information regarding Sisi’s itinerary as part of a plot to kill the president by targeting his motorcades.
The statement also did not detail when the second attempt to kill Sisi was foiled. But the officers, known as the “bearded officers,” were arrested last year.
On July 3, 2013, Sisi, who was an army general, replaced the elected Islamist President Mohamed Mursi through a popularly-backed coup. However, Islamists began protests which were put down by the security forces.
Meanwhile, this is the first time that Egypt officially acknowledged assassination attempts against Sisi. However, in June Sisi reportedly canceled his participation at the Arab League summit in Maurtiania due to “credible information” of a plot to kill him.
Egypt will try 292 militant suspects over plots to assassinate Sisi and attacks in the Sinai Peninsula, a prosecution official said Sunday.
The suspects, including 151 currently in custody, were referred to a military court for alleged membership of the “Sinai State”, the local affiliate of the ISIS group, which is leading an insurrection in the Sinai.
The suspects were questioned about the accusations against them and 66 confessed during an investigation that lasted more than a year, the official said.
All of the suspects were involved in 17 operations, including two plots to kill Sisi, one while he was on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia and one in Cairo, the official said.
The official gave no further details, but said those who planned the assassination attempts were dismissed police officers who adhere to militant ideology.
No further details about the plots were given.