Egypt executes Jihadist Hisham Ashmawi over serial killing
Following evidence of serial killing and multiple convictions, Egypt has executed Hisham Ashmawi, a man once considered the country’s most wanted jihadist.
The country’s state-owned Nile News TV channel and Egypt’s military spokesman said he was killed on Wednesday morning.
The BBC reports that Hisham Ashmawi, once an army officer, was found guilty of involvement in several high-profile attacks, including one in western Egypt in 2014 that killed more than 20 security personnel.
He was also convicted of being behind a 2013 attempt to assassinate then Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim.
Ashmawi was captured in eastern Libya by forces loyal to renegade commander Khalifa Haftar.
The renegade commander of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), which has close relations with Egypt’s government, handed Ashmawi over for trial last May.
Ashmawi, also known as Abu Umar al-Muhajir, once served in the Egyptian army’s special operations force but was dismissed over his religious views.
The army said he later became a senior figure in the Sinai-based jihadist group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, but that he left before it pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in 2014.
Ashmawi subsequently moved with a number of followers to Egypt’s Western Desert, and then crossed the border into eastern Libya, it added.
In 2015, Ashmawi allegedly established an al-Qaeda-aligned group called al-Mourabitoun, which was blamed for an attack two years later that killed 28 Christian pilgrims travelling to a monastery.