Egyptian court convicts synagogue bomber

A Cairo court convicted a man Wednesday of bombing a historic synagogue in downtown Cairo last year, judicial sources said.

Cairo's criminal court sentenced Gamal Ahmed, 49, to five years in prison. Ahmed was tried for placing a makeshift bomb near the Jewish synagogue on Adly Street downtown in February 2010. The explosive detonated in a weak blast and no deaths or injuries occurred.

The court refused his request for a retrial. He was convicted on charges of possession of unlicensed explosives and intent to disturb public security and order.

Ahmed is also allegedly connected with an extremist group that burned down videotape shops in 1984, according to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry. However, he was not referred for trial in connection with those cases.

The Interior Ministry also said Ahmed was a drug addict who has been arrested and tried in relation to several narcotics cases. He was admitted to a public psychiatric clinic in 1991, according to the ministry.

Ahmed has said his attempted attack on the synagogue was motivated by the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, according to the ministry.


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