Egypt executes militant leader days after sentencing

Hisham Ashmawi carried out dozens of attacks and ran several militant groups in Egypt and Libya

Egypt’s most-wanted militant was executed on Wednesday, just days after being sentenced by a Cairo court for leading militant groups in carrying out attacks in the country.

Hisham Ashmawi, a former special operations officer with the Egyptian Army, played a pivotal role in building up the capabilities of the Ansar Beit Al Maqdis militant group in Egypt before it became the local affiliate of ISIS.

He also founded terror groups in Libya and carried out cross-border raids, killing Egyptian soldiers as well as members of the country’s Coptic Christian community.

Military spokesman Tamer El Refai announced on Wednesday that the sentence had been carried out.

Ashmawi was one of 37 people convicted on terror charges earlier this week.

He was also linked to an assassination attempt in 2013 against Mohammed Ibrahim, interior minister at the time, fighting in Libya and an attack near the border with Libya in 2014.

He was arrested in Libya and handed over to Egyptian authorities in 2018.