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Egypt’s most wanted terrorist nabbed in Libya. All you want to know and why he may face extradition

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The Egyptian Authorities have asked Libya to extradite the most wanted terrorist Hisham Ashmawy to stand for trial, Al-Arabiya T.V. reported on Monday.

Former Egyptian Commandos officer, who was terminated after being involved in several terrorist attacks, Hesham Ashmawy, was arrested on Monday, October 8 in Derna, Libya.

A statement released by Libyan security forces affirmed that Ashmawy was arrested alive.

Ashmawi or Abu Omar al-Muhajir is a former officer in the Egyptian Commandos; he received advanced training on special operation tasks in the United States’main training institutes.

Ashmawi turned militant and became the operations engineer of the country’s most active jihadist group, AnsarBeit Al-Maqdis(ABM), and in charge of the most important qualitative operations carried out in Sinai, Cairo and Al-Farafra oasis to deserve the title of the most dangerous wanted person in Egypt.

Ashmawy was born in 1978, and graduated in 2000 from the military academy, where he was a distinguished officer and joined the Special Forces Unit. He served in Sinai for 10 years and witnessed the bombings of Taba, Sharm El-Sheikh and Dahab.

The turning point in Ashmawy’s life was in 2005 when his father, Ali Ashmawy, passed away, which affected Ashmawy’s physiological health.

During this period terrorist groups started to attract and recruit young people in mosques, and Ashmawy started to attend their sessions. The Armed Forces warned Ashmawy for the first time in 2006 and he was interrogated, but he confirmed his commitment to the military principles.

However, Ashmawy continued to promote for political Islam through spreading banned books.

In 2007, a military court transferred Ashmawy to an administrative post and then referred him to retirement in 2009. He was completely expelled from the army in 2012 as he travelled to Syria twice through Turkey.

In 2013, Ashmawy moved to Sinai where he became in charge of the military wing of AnsarBeitAl-Maqdis. He started to develop the performance of the group and improve their militancy skills.

After June 30 revolution, he participated in the Raba’a sit-in where he recruited a large number of youth to implement terrorist operations against the Egyptian army and police.

A year later, Ashmawy emerged as a key operative, heading a cell that taught fighters how to carry out suicide bombing missions, assemble roadside bombs and shoot soldiers.

Since the failed assassination attempt of former Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim in May 2013, Ashmawy was linked to a large number of terrorist attacks that were carried out by AnsarBeitAl-Maqdis, whether through planning or implementation.

Read also: Rwanda frees jailed opposition leader Ingabire

The most prominent operations conducted by Ashmawy included the attack on the military intelligence headquarters in Ismailia in October 2013, the bombing of the Security Directorate of Al-Dakahlia in December 2013, the bombing of Cairo Security Directorate in January 2014, the attack on a military unit in Farafra oasis in the Western Desert in July 2014, and the attack on the Armed Forces in Karm Al-Qawadis inSinai in October 2014.

Ashmawy was injured during the Farafra operation and was transported to Libya where he received treatment, as he has close relations with Al-Qaeda-affiliate Ansar Al-Sharia in Derna, Libya.

In July 2015, Ashmawy announced in a statement that he became the emir of Al-Murabitun group, stressing his affiliation to Al-Qeada, which is another turning point in Ashmawy’s life.

After AnsarBeit Al-Maqdis announced in November 2014 its allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS), Ashmawy refused to pledge allegiance to ISIS. He remained loyal to Al-Qaeda which cut off its supply to the Egyptian group. In response, Al-Qaeda provided Ashmawy with weapons and training camps in Libya as a prelude to carry out more operations in Egypt.

After the split, Ashmawy was accused of carrying out a number of terrorist attacks, most prominentlythe assassination of Public Prosecutor HishamBarakat in July 2015.

Politics

South Africa: Parliament reelects Cyril Ramaphosa as president

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President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has been re-elected for a second term. He was nominated for re-election on Friday by a member of his African National Congress (ANC) party during the first sitting of parliament following last month’s election.

Julius Malema, the opposition Economic Freedom Fighter, was also put forward for the nation’s presidency, necessitating a vote in parliament to determine the winner.

With a majority of votes in the National Assembly, Chief Justice Ramaphosa was proclaimed president. Julius Malema, the leader of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters party, received 44 votes, while Ramaphosa received 283.

The Democratic Alliance party said earlier in the day that it would support Ramaphosa in the election as part of a deal to establish a unity government with the African National Congress.

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has been re-elected for a second term. He was nominated for re-election on Friday by a member of his African National Congress (ANC) party during the first sitting of parliament following last month’s election.

Out of the 400 seats in the recently elected National Assembly, 246 are held by the ANC and DA.

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Niamey court revokes immunity of overthrown Nigerien president

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The State Court of Niamey has revoked the immunity of Niger’s deposed President, Mohamed Bazoum, signalling the start of criminal proceedings against him by the junta, according to a statement from his attorneys on Friday.

In July of last year, a military coup overthrew Bazoum. Since then, he and his spouse have remained in custody despite numerous requests for his release from Western nations and the ECOWAS regional political and economic grouping.

 

Colonel Amadou Abdramane, the junta’s spokesperson, stated on state television in August that the military government had “gathered the necessary evidence to prosecute the ousted president and his local and foreign accomplices for high treason and for undermining the internal and external security of Niger before competent national and international authorities.”

In a statement, one of his attorneys, Moussa Coulibaly, claimed that the court’s ruling cleared the path for Bazoum to face charges of treason and conspiracy to compromise state security.

The court proceedings “violated (ed) the absolute rights of the defence: we were not authorised to meet our client and the court refused to hear our arguments,” he added.

It was not immediately able to get in contact with the Niger government for a response. Because of Bazoum’s interactions with foreign heads of state and international organizations, the junta declared last year that it would bring high treason charges against him.

Following 2020, there have been eight coups in West and Central Africa that have brought the military government to power. Calls for Bazoum’s reinstatement have gone unanswered, including by the ECOWAS Court of Justice, which declared last year that his arrest was unjustified.

According to Bazoum’s attorneys, he and his spouse had never appeared before a magistrate. Lawyers said that since October, when their phone line at the White House was taken away, they have been cut off from the outside world and are only permitted to have visitors from their doctor.

Mohamed Bazoum Salem, the 23-year-old son of the deposed president, was given provisional parole from house imprisonment by the Niger military tribunal in January.

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