Ammunition seized by security forces- photo courtesy of the Egyptian Ministry of Interior Ammunition seized by security forces- photo courtesy of the Egyptian Ministry of Interior

Egypt’s security cracks down Hasm terror group

Sun, Dec. 31, 2017
CAIRO – 31 December 2017: As part of the Ministry of Interior's campaign against terrorism, the Homeland Security agency raided a hideout belonging to the so-called Hasm group – affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group – in the Giza governorate, killing three leading members of the group in a shootout.

The ministry announced that the security forces managed to uncover a plot by elements of the Arms of Egypt Movement (Hasm) to carry out several attacks against tourist facilities, public buildings, armed forces and police during Christmas celebrations.

The security forces located the terrorist elements at a hideout farm on Korayemat road near Atfih, Giza. They were manufacturing explosives and preparing for their attacks. An intensive battle took place between the security forces and the terrorist elements that resulted in the murder of three militants. The forces also seized three automatic rifles, two explosive devices, and a surplus of ammunition found in possession of the terrorist elements.

Ten other members of that group who are involved in the terrorist plot were caught in the governorates of Fayoum and Qalyubia at locations containing ammunitions and other tools, which were uncovered by the police.

The ministry added that information confirmed that they were involved in the altercation that took place with security forces on a road near Fayoum, 60 kilometers (40 miles) south of Cairo in July 2017. That attack resulted in the killing of one security member and the injury of another, according to the ministry.

"Information also revealed that those arrested received training on using arms and manufacturing explosives at a location in Egypt's Western Desert in Fayoum governorate, and plotters had listed a number of touristic and security spots in preparation for a planned Christmas attack, following the orders of Yahia Moussa, a fugitive Muslim Brotherhood figure in Turkey," the ministry added.

All legal procedures have been taken against the accused, and they were transferred to the State Security Prosecution for investigation.

The ministry's announcement comes one day after a gunman killed several people in an attack on a church in Helwan, south of Cairo, before being shot and captured by police.

Ammunition seized by security forces- photo courtesy of the Egyptian Ministry of Interior

Dozens of Christians have been killed in terrorist attacks on churches and congregations in recent years. Police have deployed thousands of security personnel to protect churches, parks and other vital public institutions during the Christmas season.

On the other hand, the Egyptian TV channel “On live” broadcast on Saturday a short clip that shows one of the captured Hasm members in the security crackdown. In the video, Omar Abu Bakr, a 22-year-old student in the Faculty of Pharmacy, Beni Suef University, has made some startling revelations regarding the Muslim Brotherhood’s involvement in the terror activities that plagued the country in the last few years.

Abu Bakr confessed that he has been a member in the Brotherhood since late 2013 and then joined the Hasm militant group. He added that the group provided them with courses and trainings on targeting police officers and vehicles.

Hasm has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks against Egyptian security personnel in recent months, mostly targeting police checkpoints, since the ousting of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in 2013, killing many members of the Egyptian police and army.

It is worth mentioning that Egyptian security forces have arrested and killed dozens of suspected Hasm members in the past few months.

Last February, an Egyptian court urgently designated the militant group Hasm a terrorist organization, banning its activity in the country.

On December 22, Britain has added two militant groups, Hasm and Liwaa Al-Thawra, to its list of terrorist organizations after reviewing attacks claimed by both groups and finding they meet the criteria.

Both groups are affiliated to the Brotherhood and have targeted mainly Egyptian security forces in bombings and drive-by shootings.

The Egyptian authorities banned the Muslim Brotherhood and declared it a terrorist organization after deposing President Morsi.

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