Egypt executes Al Qaeda's Ashmawy after conviction over terrorist attacks

Ahram Online , Wednesday 4 Mar 2020

Egypt on Wednesday executed Hisham Ashmawy, described as the country’s most dangerous Islamist militant

Egyptian terrorist Hisham El-Ashmawy following his arrest in Libya

Egyptian top militant Hisham Ashmawy was executed by hanging on Wednesday morning, after he was convicted of plotting several terror attacks, the military said in a statement.

Ashmawy was captured in the eastern Libyan city of Derna in late 2018 and was handed over to Egypt by forces loyal to commander Khalifa Haftar in May last year. He's been described as the country's most dangerous terrorist.

He was handed two death sentences after being convicted of orchestrating several deadly high-profile attacks against security forces.

"This morning, the death sentence by hanging was carried out on terrorist defendant Hisham Ali Ashmawy," military spokesman Tamer El-Refaie said in an audio statement posted on Facebook.

Ashmawy, a former Egyptian special forces officer, led Sinai-based Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis, Egypt's most active militant group. He broke off after the group swore allegiance to the Islamist State group in late 2014.

He later sneaked into Libya to join the militant Ansar Al-Sharia group and later founded a new Al-Qaeda-aligned group called Al-Mourabitoun after switching his allegiance away from the Islamic State group.

The army said Ashmawy was convicted in 14 crimes including a prominent 2014 ambush that killed 22 Egyptian military border guards near the frontier with Libya and a failed assassination attempt on a former interior minister in 2013.

Other crimes listed include targeting ships in the Suez Canal and involvement in deadly assaults on security buildings and armoured vehicles.

Ashmawy was sentenced to death by a military court in November 2019 over terrorism charges. Earlier this week, he was sentenced to death along with 36 others in another terrorism case after being convicted of their role in over 50 crimes including murder of policemen.


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