Egypt jails 25 on terrorism charges

The accused, members were arrested in 2012 after an exchange of fire in Cairo’s upscale district of Nasr City

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An Egyptian court jailed 25 men Wednesday for from seven years to life for planning "terrorist attacks" on state institutions during the presidency of Islamist Mohamed Mursi.

The accused, members of the so-called "Nasr City Cell," were arrested in 2012 after an exchange of fire in Cairo's upscale district of Nasr City.

Mohamed Jamal, one of those sentenced to life, is listed as a "terrorist individual" by the United Nations and the US State Department for his alleged links to al-Qaeda.

The United Nations says Jamal is the leader of the Nasr City Cell.

The State Department says he traveled to Afghanistan in the late 1980s, where he trained with Al-Qaeda and learned how to construct bombs.

The Cairo court handed down 12 life sentences, including three to people tried in absentia. A life sentence in Egypt amounts to 25 years.

Four others were sentenced to 15 years, six to 10 years and three to seven years.

One defendant was acquitted.

The court found the accused guilty of planning "terrorist attacks" against state institutions, founding an illegal group that aimed to disturb public peace and security, and possessing arms and explosives.

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