Egyptian ex-police officer conducted 'ISIS suicide attack in Iraq'

Reem Gehad , Sunday 19 Oct 2014

Ahmed El-Darawi, a former Egyptian police officer, reportedly joined ISIS and carried out a suicide attack in Iraq in May 2014

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A photo circulating online of Ahmed El-Darawi carrying a gun, allegedly with ISIS forces

A former Egyptian police officer and parliamentary candidate has reportedly conducted a suicide attack for ISIS in Iraq.

An article published on pro-ISIS news website Haq, which spread rapidly among Egyptian Twitter users over the weekend, said Ahmed El-Darawi conducted the attack in May.

El-Darawi's brother Haitham confirmed the news on Twitter.

According to Haitham (@SadButTrue33), El-Darawi's family did not know about their son's supposed involvement with ISIS.

He said El-Darawi traveled to Turkey over a year ago, telling them it was for medical treatment. The family then received news, according Haitham, that El-Darawi had died during surgery on 29 May 2014.

The family held a funeral in Egypt without their deceased son's corpse. Haitham said he later traveled to Turkey "to learn the details" and receive the corpse, whereupon "people revealed the news [about ISIS]."   

Haitham emphasised in his tweets that the news was old and had resurfaced on Saturday.

A discrepancy remains about where El-Darawi died. While news articles claim he carried out a suicide operation in Iraq, social media users say he probably died in Syria as ISIS had still not deepened its involvement in Iraq at that time.   

El-Darawi, born in 1978 in Cairo's upscale Maadi district, was a police officer before he resigned in 2007 in protest at how the institution was run.

Following the January 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak, he was featured in Egyptian media calling for police reform. He also ran for parliament in 2011 as an independent candidate against pro-military journalist and MP Mostafa Bakri.

The latest updates on El-Darawi's Twitter account, which has over 24,000 followers, show his avatar featuring the pro-Morsi Rabaa sign and a username reading "down with military rule."

Egypt's Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the army amid mass protests in July 2013, sparking fierce opposition from the Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails, and its allies.

Meanwhile, Egypt has been on alert for threats from ISIS, particularly in the restive Sinai Peninsula, already stricken with a jihadist insurgency.

Speculations have been rife that ISIS has cells in Sinai. State news agency MENA reported on 5 October that security forces in the Suez Canal city of Port Said have uncovered a recruitment cell for ISIS.

Intelligence officials have told Ahram Online that Sinai is considered a worrying terror hotbed and a tributary for the export of extremism.


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