Hasm, the group behind terror acts in Egypt



Sat, 22 Jul 2017 - 07:50 GMT


Sat, 22 Jul 2017 - 07:50 GMT

Hasm movement logo - official Twitter account

Hasm movement logo - official Twitter account

CAIRO – 22 July 2017: In less than two weeks, the militant group Hasm has claimed responsibility for three deadly attacks that claimed the lives of more than four policemen and injured dozens.

A number of questions swirl in our minds regarding the little-known Hasm. What is Hasm? When did the group emerge? What is the future of this group that is becoming bolder? Who is Nascent group?

What is Hasm?

In Arabic, the word “hasm” means decisiveness. Lately, Hasm has been associated with nearly every terrorist attack in Egypt during the last year. However, the Islamic State terrorist group has been responsible for nearly three major attacks.

Hasm group is supposedly linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, a group which is deemed illegal in Egypt. However, the Brotherhood’s media spokesman, Talaat Fahmi, denied the Brotherhood’s links to Hasm to Turkish-led Anadul agency in December 2016. He said the Brotherhood could never be linked to those who commit violence and bloodshed.

Tal’at Habib, a researcher and expert on Islamic movements, told Egypt Today on Friday that Hasm is directly linked to the Brotherhood’s members and leaders, directly refuting Fahmi’s statement. Habib cited a Hasm statement that came out after top Brotherhood leader Mohamed Kamal’s death in October 2016. They vowed revenge for his killing.


Kamal served as a member of the Brotherhood’s top guidance office and, according to the Interior Ministry, was responsible for planning the group’s armed wing attacks. He was killed during a confrontation with police in October 2016 in the Al-Basatin district of Cairo.

Hasm’s beginnings

Hasm's first statement was issued in July 2016 when the group claimed responsibility for the killing of a senior policeman named Mahmoud Abdel Hamid in Fayoum. Hamid was the head of the investigations department in Fayoum’s Tamya district.

According to Habib, Hasm is the crystallized form of militant groups that grew out of the Muslim Brotherhood, such as the Ikhwan Brigades and the Popular Resistance. The group formed after the violent dispersal during the Rabaa and al-Nahda sit-ins in July 2013.

“Hasm’s methods and techniques are mainly primitive and of minimal costs,” Habib said. He added that they also get some of their arms by stealing them from police stations and ambushes.

Hasm’s most notable terrorist attacks during a year-long period

Since its beginnings, Hasm has maintained a strategy of targeting policemen, not civilians. The group’s members have been involved in attacking several checkpoints and killing policemen stationed there. The most recent took place on July 7. The attack targeted a police van and left one police officer and three recruits dead in Giza.

On September 29, 2016, Hasm claimed responsibility for a failed assassination attempt that targeted the prosecutor general's top deputy, Zakaria Abd El-Aziz.

On October 5, 2016, former Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa survived an assassination attempt after two masked men opened fire on him and his guards.


On December 9, 2016, the group claimed responsibility for a bomb that detonated near a police checkpoint in Giza governorate. The bomb killed at least six policemen and injured three others.

On July 5, 2017, Hasm assassinated senior police officer Ibrahim al-Azazy of the National Security Department. The victim was on his way to perform Friday prayers in Qalyubia governorate.

Since the ouster of former Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated President Mohamed Morsi in 2013, Egypt has witnessed a number of terrorist attacks carried out by insurgents and extremists.

The future of Hasm

Habib further told Egypt today that Hasm is expected to expand their deadly altercations with police and that their attacks will not likely end soon. He attributed this to Hasm members’ complex network of connections to Brotherhood members lodging in Egypt and Turkey, and also to those who are rebuffing the reformist approach.
“Those groups feel defeated and they will continue to try, as the Ikhwan Brigades and the Popular Resistance, to pound the regime’s fist through revenge killings,” Habib concluded.




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