Egypt hands 18 life prison sentences for joining ISIS

An Egyptian court on Saturday (March 30th) sentenced 18 people to life in prison for joining the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) and plotting to bomb a church, AFP reported.

The state security criminal court in Cairo heard that some of the defendants had undergone "militant training" in Libya and Syria.

The prosecution in its investigation accused the defendants of planning a "suicide bombing" in July 2017 at a church in Alexandria, a judicial source said.

They also were convicted for plotting to bomb a liquor store the same year in the town of Damietta, 200 kilometres north-east of the capital.

ISIS claimed responsibility for twin church bombings in April 2017 that killed 45 people. One of the churches targeted was a Coptic cathedral in Alexandria.

Saturday's sentence saw 30 defendants in total. Eight were given 15 years in prison and four others were handed 10-year jail sentences.

All were convicted for joining a "terrorist group", planning terror acts as well as possession of explosives, firearms and ammunition, the source said.

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