Egypt arrests leading militant figure after return from Syria

Ahram Online, Wednesday 19 Nov 2014

Egyptian security forces also arrested 38 others from five alleged terrorist cells in Al-Gharbiya governorate

Egypt's security forces arrested Wednesday a leading member of the militant Al-Furqan Brigades after his return from Syria, as well as 38 others from five different terrorist cells in Al-Gharbiya governorate, Al-Ahram Arabic website reported.

An interior ministry statement alleged that Hani Shaheen returned to Egypt to train elements linked to the Muslim Brotherhood on explosives assembly.

Security forces have launched a crackdown on Brotherhood members, and those affiliated with them, since the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood member and former president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

The Brotherhood was declared a terrorist group by the Egyptian cabinet last December.

Late last year, Al-Furqan Brigades claimed responsibility for an RPG attack on a satellite communications centre in a southern Cairo suburb and called for attacks against the army, describing them as infidels. It also claimed responsibility for attacking a ship in the Suez Canal in September.

Meanwhile, 38 members from five terrorist cells were apprehended in Egypt's Gharbiya governorate.

Security forces allege the 38 were involved in a number of attacks against police personnel and institutions. as well as setting fire to telephone and railways lines.

Egypt's security forces are currently battling a militant insurgency in North Sinai that has been present for the last decade but has increased in scope dramatically since the ouster of Morsi.

While militant attacks have mainly targeted security personnel in the Sinai Peninsula, they have also spread to Cairo and surrounding cities, with civilians killed and injured in the violence also.

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