Egypt’s prosecution said on Sunday that a number of Egyptians affiliated with "Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) were involved in the beheading of 21 Copts in Libya in February 2015.
Egypt’s armed forces carried out airstrikes against Islamic State fighters in Libya last year, hours after ISIS released a video showing the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Copts in Libya.
Prosecution had referred 20 people to court for forming a terrorist cell affiliated to the "Islamic State" group in Libya, saying that a number of the defendants had been involved in the beheading of the 21 Egyptians.
"The intent behind killing the Copts in Libya was to lure the army into fighting elements of the Islamic State in Libya," the prosecution said.
The defendants face accusations of committing acts of "violence and vandalism, resisting authorities and possession of firearms, which led to threatening public security."
According to investigations, the 20 Egyptians received military training at the Islamic State camps in Syria and Libya.
The defendants agreed with leaders of the Islamic State in Libya to establish a group based in Egypt's Matrouh governorate, which would embrace the ideas of ISIS, according to the investigations.
They were also planning to target the head of security of Matrouh as well as police officers in the governorate and sheikhs who disapprove of Takfiri fundamentalist ideas.
Egypt listed the Islamic State group and their affiliates a “terrorist organisation” as per a court ruling in November 2014.
A Sinai-based militant group known as Sinai Province pledged allegiance to Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in November 2014, making Sinai one of the many territories in the region where the militant group has a foothold.