Death sentence for Egyptian militant


An Egyptian military court sentenced top Islamist militant suspect Hisham al-Ashmawy to death after convicting him of orchestrating several high-profile attacks, the armed forces said.

Ashmawy, a former Egyptian Special Forces officer, was apprehended in Libyan city Derna late last year and transferred to Egypt in May.

He was convicted on charges including plotting a 2014 attack that killed 22 military guards near the Libya border and involvement in an assassination attempt on a former interior minister in 2013, a military statement said.

Ashmawy led Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, Egypt’s most active militant group, before it pledged allegiance to Islamic State in 2014, it said.

He moved with followers to Egypt’s Western Desert, then transferred to Libya to join al Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Sharia, it added. In 2015 he founded a new group al-Mourabitoun.

Egyptian civilian and military courts sentenced Ashmawy to death in absentia before extradition.

Earlier this month, an Egyptian military court sentenced to death Abdelrahim Mohamed al-Mesmari, a suspected Libyan militant convicted over a deadly attack on a police patrol in Egypt’s western desert in 2017.

Egyptian authorities captured Mesmari a month after the attack.