On Wednesday one of the most-wanted Egyptian militants who was captured in neighboring Libya last year has been transferred to Egypt.
Egyptian media broadcast footage of Ashmawy arriving in Egypt on a military aircraft early Wednesday morning. They said, “The Libyan armed forces handed over the terrorist Hisham Ashmawy to the Egyptian general intelligence”. he did scores of terror attacks in Egypt.
A former officer with Egypt’s special forces, Ashmawy left the army in 2012 and later joined Ansar Beit al-Maqdis which is based in the Sinai Peninsula. Hesham Ali Ashmawy Mos’ad Ibrahim, born in 1978 he is an Egyptian Islamist militant and former Egyptian Army officer in 1996 and eventually became an officer in the Thunderbolt unit. the Egyptian Army mention Hesham showed increasing signs of radicalization over the years, he accusations of spreading extremist thought and of incitement against the Egyptian Armed Forces led to his eventual dismissal from the military in 2011.
Then, he embraced al-Qaeda and went on to join Ansar Bait al-Maqdis in 2012, but eventually defected from the group in 2015, Hesham suspected by the government of orchestrating and being involved in a number of terrorist attacks on security targets and state institutions, because he did not like Sisi regime, which took power from the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
After that, he has done many terrorist operations in 2014 Farafra ambush and in February 2015, he killed 29 Egyptian troops and injured 60 others. Assassination of Prosecutor general Hisham Barakat. He is especially wanted in Egypt because of his involvement in 17 terrorist operations which killed dozens of army and police officers. The most important of these was the targeting of 101st battalion in al-Arish.
After that he declaration of allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. He formed instead his own network, al-Mourabitoun, which based itself in Libya and remained loyal to al-Qaeda.
Ashmawy is believed to have gone to Libya in 2013, before Maqdis pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in November 2014, becoming one of Egypt’s most wanted terrorists. He is operating alongside Emad al-Din Abdel Hamid, another army officer-turned-jihadist chief.
Ashmawy was captured by Haftar’s forces in October 2018 in the city of Derna, east of Libya after that Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi had previously asked for the jihadist leader to be handed over.
On 8 October 2018, Ahmed al-Mismari, spokesman of the Libyan National Army (LNA), announced the capturing of Ashmawy during a surprise operation by a unit of the 106th Mujahfal Brigade in the mountainous al-Maghar district of Derna.
Then, Nasser Ahmed al-Najdi, commander of the LNA’s Battalion 169, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the operation was the result of intelligence sharing between Egypt’s government and the LNA under the command of General Khalifa Haftar. After that, Egypt’s President had asked for the jihadist leader to be handed over.
In addition, months after a tunnel network was uncovered in Derna during a battle between LNA forces and the Shura Council of Mujahideen for control of the city. Ashmawy was using that network to move around between cities in the region.
The Libyan authorities said in their statement that Ashmawy would be extradited to Egypt following investigations. Haftar did this because he wanted Egypt to support him to control Tripoli this means Libyan National Army (LNA) is backed by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
*Miral Sabry Al Ashry, Associate Professor at Future University (FUE), Political Mass Media Department