Top militant captured and transferred to Egypt from eastern Libya
A top Egyptian militant suspect identified as Hisham al-Ashmawy was transferred to Egypt from eastern Libya in a military aircraft, Egyptian state television said on Wednesday.
Ashmawy, a former Egyptian special forces officer, was apprehended in the Libyan city of Derna, has been long sought by Egypt on charges of orchestrating a deadly desert ambush on police and other high-profile attacks.
Egyptian authorities say Ashmawy heads the Ansar al-Islam network, which claimed responsibility for an ambush against police in Egypt’s Western Desert in 2017. Egyptian officials also accuse the network, which they link to al-Qaeda, of an assassination attempt on a former interior minister in 2013.
He was accompanied by another unidentified detainee who was also handcuffed, blindfolded and ear-muffed. Sources told Reuters the man was Safwat Zeidan, Ashmawy’s personal guard.
The transfer came following a visit by Egyptian Intelligence Chief Abbas Kamel to Benghazi where he met with Libyan eastern commander Khalifa Haftar.