Egypt deports German citizen over alleged terror suspicions

Egypt deported a German citizen early Friday whom it detained in Cairo airport last month on suspicion of plotting terrorism, authorities said. (AFP)
Updated 11 January 2019
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Egypt deports German citizen over alleged terror suspicions

CAIRO: Two German-Egyptians have been detained as they entered Egypt on suspicion of links to extremist groups fighting an insurgency in Northern Sinai.

The men were stopped at separate airports last month, Egyptians security officials said.

Amr Mohamed Ezzat Abdel Aziz, 23, was detained on Dec. 27 while traveling with his brother at Cairo International Airport. He was released last Thursday and deported back to Germany, due to lack of criminal records.

Issa Mohammed Abdel Ghany Ibrahim Al-Sabagh, 18, was held on Dec. 17 at Luxor Airport. Germany said he is in Egyptian police custody.

Abdel Aziz and his brother were flying from Madinah in Saudi Arabia, where they study, to Cairo.

Their family were shocked that he was detained, saying Abdel Aziz was not politically active, according to German sources.

Egyptian authorities said they were notified that Abdel Aziz was intending on taking part in Daesh activities in Sinai, but they had no evidense or record of previous criminal activity and he was deported to Germany, according to Deutsche Welle (DW).

Al-Sabbagh’s location has not been disclosed. Egyptian authorities said he was traveling to Egypt to see his grandfather. However , the authorities said they found he was carrying maps detailing North Sinai’s routes.

North and Central Sinai have been the scene of an extremist insurgency, which began in 2013.


US intelligence proves ‘without question’ Iran behind tanker attacks

Updated 1 min 46 sec ago
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US intelligence proves ‘without question’ Iran behind tanker attacks

  • Hook: Iranian vessels operating in and around the Strait of Hormuz on June 12 and 13 approached tankers
  • “Those who have seen the intelligence all come away without any question Iran is behind these attacks”

WASHINGTON: The US envoy to Iran Brian Hook said Wednesday US intelligence proves “without question” Iran was behind the attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

Hook said that Iranian vessels operating in and around the Strait of Hormuz on June 12 and 13 approached tankers Front Altair and Kokuka Courageous before each ship suffered explosions on June 13. 

“Those who have seen the intelligence all come away without any question Iran is behind these attacks,” Hook told a conressional hearing on the Trump adminstration's Iran policy.

Hook added that the intelligence showed a senior Islamic Republican Guard Corps (IRGC) official confirmed that its personnel had “completed two actions.”

Earlier the US Navy displayed mine fragments and a magnet it said it had removed from one of two oil tankers, saying the mines bore a striking resemblance to Iranian ones.

Addressing Iran’s involvement in Yemen, committee member Joe Wilson referred to the Houthi attack on Abha airport last week, which injured 26 people. He asked Hook how the US planned to hold Iran accountable for such actions, given Tehran’s support for the Houthis.

Hook said the US supported the right of countries like Saudi Arabia “who are on the front lines of Iranian agression” in their right to defend themselves when attacked, especially by the Houthi rebels.

“Iran has spent hundreds of millions of dollars organizing, training and equipping the Houthis to fight at a level beyond which makes any normal sense and it has prolonged and intensified the conflict,” Hook said.

“Iran is playing a very long game in Yemen They would very much like to do in Yemen what they have been able to do in Lebanon and to use the Houthis in the same model that they have used Hezbollah in Lebanon.”

Hook said there had been half a dozen attacks in the last six weeks and that this was why the US had beefed up its military presence in the region “to establish deterrents.”

The US on Monday announced the deployment of about 1,000 more troops to the region because of the threat from Iran. The deployment is in addition to a 1,500-troop increase announced last month. The US has also sent an aircraft carrier strike group and B-52 bombers.

Also during the hearing, Hook said Iran was trying to “sow military roots in Syria,” and is attempting to destabilize Lebanon through its support for Hezbollah.