Leader of Al Murabitun terrorist group, Hisham Ashmawy – File photo
CAIRO – 29 October 2017: A high-profile source told Egypt Today that terminated officer Hisham Ashmawy was not behind the latest Oasis Operation, a high-level source who requested to remain anonymous stated Sunday.
After suffering from an injury in Libya and undergoing several surgeries, Ashmawy’s leg was amputated; which led to his role becoming confined to planning and providing logistical support for his personnel, without carrying any operations personally.
The source also stated that Ashmawy is planning on moving a number of his militant camps in Libya to the West borders while also planning to smuggle weapons through Sirte.
The source also added that the Oasis Operation was carried out by one of Ashmawy’s assistants, terminated officer Emad Abdel-Hamid. Abdel-Hamid was leading the operation that Ashmawy planned in Libya.
Personnel from Al-Qaeda are in Libya and others from ISIL come from Sinai and Libya, which means that they have very likely taken part in the operation. The source indicated that Egyptians were being trained in Al-Qaeda camps in Libya, and are creating terrorist cells called “Al-‘Aedoon”. These cells establish different training camps in Al-Wahat (Oases area), Upper Egypt and the western borders. In addition, these camps are home to Egyptians who underwent training by different terrorist organizations.
The source also indicated that logistical support and provision of heavy weaponry to the terrorists who carried out the Oasis Operation came from a Libyan, an Egyptian and a Tunisian. They helped smuggle weapons to terrorists, especially through Sirte. The source also added that Abu-Moaz El-Tikriti is one of the financiers of the terrorist groups in the desert.
The source also indicated that the security apparatus discovered an armory on the West borders and the Oases area, where heavy weapons like mortar, RPG, TNT, C-4, Grinov machine guns and other machine guns were also found.
He added that all these weapons came from Libya and were stored in more than one location in the desert to keep them safe from security forces. There are even personnel responsible for tracking down weapons for future use.
The source also revealed that an independent administration will be established to track down those who underwent military training in Syria and Libya and came back to Egypt. It will be responsible for anticipating their return and finding them in case they could enter the country. It will also be responsible for carrying out preemptive strikes against them.
The ministry is currently working on a full survey of Egyptians in terrorist organizations. They will be tracked down in coordination with different countries to prevent them from coming back to Egypt and carrying out terrorist operations. The source added that the administration will be formed based on information available; indicating that some Egyptians want to come back to Egypt to join terrorist cells and groups to carry out operations.