Hisham Ashmawi after his capture in the former ISIS stronghold of Derna, Libya
Hisham Ashmawi after his capture in the former ISIS stronghold of Derna, Libya

The long charge sheet of Egypt’s most wanted militant arrested in Libya



When special forces fighters from the self-styled Libyan National Army carried out a raid in the eastern port City of Derna on Monday, they faced a determined target.

Hisham Ali Ashmawi, himself a former special forces soldier in the Egyptian military, is considered the North African nation's most wanted militant.

Already sentenced to death in absentia following a series of attacks on soldiers, police and coptic Christians, Ashmawi wasn't giving up without a fight.

“As the troops stormed the building where the terrorist was residing in, he attempted to detonate a suicide belt but failed,” said a source inside the Karama Operation Room, which coordinates commander Khalifa Haftar’s forces in their fight against Islamist militants in eastern Libya.

Egyptian authorities have requested his rendition, and his detention will bring to an end a brief but prolific career of militancy that took him from the battlefields of Syria to militant mountain hideouts in Syria.

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Ashmawi, also known as Abu Omar Al Muhajir, is a former Egyptian special forces officer. He was dishonorably discharged in 2012 however, following a trial for “inciting” his comrades against the military.

Following his expulsion from the forces, he reportedly travelled to Syria in 2013, where he became active in the then Al Qaeda affiliated Jabhat Al Nusra.

He later traveled to Libya as part of a wave of militants who fled there from Syria to expand their network.

Following the overthrow in July 2013 of the short-lived Islamist presidency of Mohammed Morsi in Egypt, an Islamist insurgency arose in the Sinai. Ashmawi returned to his home country sometime after this to work as an explosives expert for the group Ansar Beit Al Maqdis.

In September 2013, the group claimed responsibility for a failed attempted to assassinate the then Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim, an operation which brought Ashmawi to the attention of local security forces.

Ashmawi and his militant comrades inflicted a series of attacks on Egyptian security forces, contributing to a bloody 2014, in which 182 soldiers and police were killed according to independent estimates.

In one attack on a military headquarters in the north Sinai city of Arish in February 2015, the group killed 29 soldiers. Later in the year the group was blamed for the assassination of former Prosecutor General Hisham Barkat.

Ashmawi was also reportedly involved in a dispute over whether his group should pledge allegiance to the old guard of Islamic militancy in the Middle East represented by Al Qaeda, or whether to join ISIS.

After the group joined ISIS, Ashmawi left to join an Al Qaeda affiliate in Libya called the Al Murabiteen group.

In July 2015, a voice note attributed to Ashmawi called for holy war against the government of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi.

He is believed to have lived in Derna for the past four years, according to the source in the Karama Operation room. This suggests he may have posed a less active militant role recently, as Al Murabiteen did not claim any attacks in this time.

His arrest on Monday follows months of fighting around Derna, during which time the LNA has struggled to fully dislodge Islamist cells.

Egypt will likely try him on a range of terrorism charges, according to an Egyptian security source.

The outcome of any trial will have little bearing on his fate however, as he has already been sentenced to death in absentia, alongside a dozen other defendants, for an attack on a military checkpoint in the Farafra depression in Egypt's Western Desert.

What is tokenisation?

Tokenisation refers to the issuance of a blockchain token, which represents a virtually tradable real, tangible asset. A tokenised asset is easily transferable, offers good liquidity, returns and is easily traded on the secondary markets. 

Hot Seat

Director: James Cullen Bressack

Stars: Mel Gibson, Kevin Dillon, Shannen Doherty, Sam Asghari

Rating: 1/5

RESULT

Al Hilal 4 Persepolis 0
Khribin (31', 54', 89'), Al Shahrani 40'
Red card: Otayf (Al Hilal, 49')

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

No more lice

Defining head lice

Pediculus humanus capitis are tiny wingless insects that feed on blood from the human scalp. The adult head louse is up to 3mm long, has six legs, and is tan to greyish-white in colour. The female lives up to four weeks and, once mature, can lay up to 10 eggs per day. These tiny nits firmly attach to the base of the hair shaft, get incubated by body heat and hatch in eight days or so.

Identifying lice

Lice can be identified by itching or a tickling sensation of something moving within the hair. One can confirm that a person has lice by looking closely through the hair and scalp for nits, nymphs or lice. Head lice are most frequently located behind the ears and near the neckline.

Treating lice at home

Head lice must be treated as soon as they are spotted. Start by checking everyone in the family for them, then follow these steps. Remove and wash all clothing and bedding with hot water. Apply medicine according to the label instructions. If some live lice are still found eight to 12 hours after treatment, but are moving more slowly than before, do not re-treat. Comb dead and remaining live lice out of the hair using a fine-toothed comb.
After the initial treatment, check for, comb and remove nits and lice from hair every two to three days. Soak combs and brushes in hot water for 10 minutes.Vacuum the floor and furniture, particularly where the infested person sat or lay.

Courtesy Dr Vishal Rajmal Mehta, specialist paediatrics, RAK Hospital

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE. 

Read part four: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part three: the age of the electric vehicle begins

Read part two: how climate change drove the race for an alternative 

The 100 Best Novels in Translation
Boyd Tonkin, Galileo Press

Traits of Chinese zodiac animals

Tiger:independent, successful, volatile
Rat:witty, creative, charming
Ox:diligent, perseverent, conservative
Rabbit:gracious, considerate, sensitive
Dragon:prosperous, brave, rash
Snake:calm, thoughtful, stubborn
Horse:faithful, energetic, carefree
Sheep:easy-going, peacemaker, curious
Monkey:family-orientated, clever, playful
Rooster:honest, confident, pompous
Dog:loyal, kind, perfectionist
Boar:loving, tolerant, indulgent  

Kill Bill Volume 1

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Uma Thurman, David Carradine and Michael Madsen
Rating: 4.5/5

INFO

Everton 0

Arsenal 0

Man of the Match: Djibril Sidibe (Everton)

The Crown season 5

Stars: Imelda Staunton, Jonathan Pryce, Lesley Manville, Jonny Lee Miller, Dominic West, Elizabeth Debicki, Salim Daw and Khalid Abdalla

Written by: Peter Morgan

Rating: 4/5 stars

Factfile on Garbine Muguruza:

Name: Garbine Muguruza (ESP)

World ranking: 15 (will rise to 5 on Monday)

Date of birth: October 8, 1993

Place of birth: Caracas, Venezuela

Place of residence: Geneva, Switzerland

Height: 6ft (1.82m)

Career singles titles: 4

Grand Slam titles: 2 (French Open 2016, Wimbledon 2017)

Career prize money: $13,928,719