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Egypt’s public prosecutor refers three to court for joining terrorist group in Libya

The three defendants — two fugitives and a detained citizen — are accused of assuming leadership positions in a terrorist group dubbed Murabitoon and joining Al-Qaeda in Libya

Ahram Online , Sunday 17 Jan 2021
Hamada al-Sawy
Egypt's general prosecutor Hamada al-Sawy (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Egypt’s Public Prosecutor Hamada El-Sawi ordered the referral of three defendants to the state security emergency court on multiple charges, including joining a terrorist group in Libya, which aimed to execute attacks in Egypt.

According to a statement by the public prosecution on Sunday, the three defendants — two fugitives and a detained citizen — are accused of assuming leadership positions in a terrorist group dubbed Murabitoon and joining Al-Qaeda in Libya.

The statement noted that the terrorist group was led by Hesham Ashmawy, a former Egyptian army officer who was convicted of terrorism and executed by Egyptian authorities early in 2020 after being extradited from Libya.

The Supreme State Security Prosecution interrogated the detained defendant, the statement said, adding that he admitted funding the terrorist group and receiving military training, and also joining Al-Qaeda in Libya.

He also admitted, according to the interrogation, that he joined a terrorist group in Egypt after he had escaped from prison in the wake of the 25 January Revolution in 2011, the statement read.

He travelled to Libya, as per his group’s orders, in order to be trained so that he may return to Egypt to execute terrorist attacks, he admitted.

In Libya, he and many others, including the two fugitives in the case, met with Ashmawy. The now-detained citizen practiced organisational activities in this group until the Libyan armed forces detained him and Ashmawy and later extradited them to Egypt.

Ashmawy was apprehended in Libya in October 2018 and was handed over to Egypt by the forces of Libyan Army Commander Khalifa Haftar in May 2019.

He was convicted of 14 crimes, including a prominent 2014 ambush that killed 22 Egyptian military border guards near the border of Libya, and a failed assassination attempt on a former interior minister in 2013.

“A salute and my appreciation to Egypt’s brave men who have always acted as hawks against all those who thought that they can terrorise Egyptians,” El-Sisi said, following the extradition.

On 4 March last year, Military Spokesman Tamer El-Refae announced the execution of Ashmawy as per a military court ruling.

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