Egyptian military court sentences wanted Jihadist to death

The court also convicted Ashmawi for the 2013 assassination attempt of the Minister of Interior, Mohammed Ibrahim

An Egyptian military court has sentenced to death one of the country’s most wanted jihadists, Hesham Ashmawi.

The militant and former Egyptian army officer was found guilty of masterminding several deadly attacks, including the 2014 Farafra ambush that saw 22 security personnel dead and the assassination of Prosecutor-General Hisham Barakat in 2015.

The court also convicted Ashmawi for the 2013 assassination attempt of the Minister of Interior, Mohammed Ibrahim.

Khalifa Haftar’s forces captured him in eastern Libya in 2018.

The Libyan National Army (LNA) Chief, Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar handed Ashmawi over to the Egyptian government for trial in May this year.

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The condemned extremist leader served in the Egyptian army’s special operations force for years before his dismissal in 2011 over his extremist religious views.

According to the country’s army, Ashmawi later became a top figure in the Sinai-based extremist group Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, but left before the group pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in 2014.

“Ashmawi subsequently moved with a number of followers to Egypt’s Western Desert, and then crossed the border into eastern Libya,” the Army added.

He was also said to have led Ansar al-Islam, the extremist group that claimed responsibility for the Bahariya Oasis attack in 2017 killing between 16 and 54 security personnel.

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