Egypt arrests man 'wanted over deadly terror attacks'

Suspect detained when a flight from Khartoum to Istanbul made an emergency landing in Luxor

epa07757075 People extinguish a fire from a blast inside the National Cancer Institute, Cairo, Egypt, 04 August 2019 ccording to reports, at least one person died and after an oxygen tube exploded at the National Cancer Institute in Cairo.  EPA/MOHAMED HOSSAM

Egypt last week arrested a man wanted in connection with several deadly terror attacks in the country, the Interior Ministry said on Saturday.

The ministry identified the man as Hossam Menoufy, but did not provide further details.

A man with that name is known to be a member of Harakat Sawa’d Misr, or Hasm, a group that has been implicated in several attacks including a car bombing outside a hospital in Cairo that killed 20 people in 2019.

According to government media, the passenger was arrested when the flight from Sudan to Turkey that he was travelling on made an emergency landing in the Egyptian city of Luxor.

Hasm, which the US designated a terrorist group in 2018, is considered to be a breakaway faction of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egypt banned the Brotherhood and declared it a terrorist organisation after the military removed a prominent member, Mohammed Morsi, from the presidency in 2013 following widespread protests against his rule. Thousands of Brotherhood members have been jailed since.

Menoufy was sentenced in his absence in 2017 to life in prison, along with hundreds of others, for alleged involvement in the attempted assassination of a top judiciary official, according to the government-run Al-Akhbar Al-Youm newspaper.

Hasm also claimed responsibility for an attack that killed an Egyptian National Security Agency officer and the attempted assassination of Egypt's former top Sunni religious leader, Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, in 2016.

Badr Airlines, based in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, said on Friday that a passenger was arrested when its flight to Istanbul landed in Egypt on Wednesday, without naming the person.

The airline said a smoke alarm in the plane’s cargo hold went off by mistake, forcing it to land in the southern Egyptian city of Luxor. Passengers got off the plane to wait for a replacement and were subjected to Egyptian border control procedures, the airline said.

Updated: January 16, 2022, 11:00 AM