Egypt approves new anti-terror laws

A woman walks past an Egyptian policeman, who stands alert in Tahrir Square, Cairo. (AP)
Updated 03 March 2019

Egypt approves new anti-terror laws

  • One of the latest key changes to legislation will see a tightening up of regulations surrounding the rental of property
  • It gives power to the police to temporarily close any premises where weapons have been manufactured or designed for use in terrorist crimes.

CAIRO: The Egyptian government has approved tough new laws to fight terrorism in the wake of recent deadly attacks in the country.

One of the latest key changes to the legislation will see a tightening up of regulations surrounding the rental of property.

Under current rules, anyone leasing furnished real estate in Egypt does not have to be officially registered as living there. However, in the future property owners will be required to inform police of the identities of tenants, even for short-term rental periods, and will face criminal penalties for failure to do so.

Dr. Mohammed Khalifa, a member of the legislative committee of the Egyptian Council of Representatives, told Arab News that terrorists often took advantage of the old regulations to rent furnished apartments and stay under the radar of the authorities.

“The owner of a property will now have to notify the police department in the form of a copy of the contract between the two sides, so that Egyptian security will have sufficient information about the citizens who rent the furnished apartments, even if only for short periods,” said Khalifa.

He said the amendment to the law was designed not to inconvenience the owners of rented apartments but to encourage them to interact with the police.

Other alterations to the government’s anti-terror legislation include giving the Egyptian Public Prosecution Office powers to temporarily close any premises where weapons have been manufactured or designed for use in terrorist crimes.

In addition, the Egyptian Parliament’s proposals and complaints committee has approved a law blocking organizations listed as terrorist groups from exercising their political rights.

MP Kamal Amer, head of the country’s National Defense and Security Committee in the House of Representatives, said that the government was constantly reviewing and amending laws to combat terrorism and confiscate the funds of armed organizations.

He stressed that Egypt had made significant strides in its war on terror through its legislative and security efforts. At the same time, it was working hard to tackle the root causes of extremism. 

In a recent speech at the first Middle East and North Africa Regional Conference titled “Strengthening International Cooperation in the Face of the Growing Threat of Terrorist Financing and Money Laundering Operations,” Egyptian Attorney General Nabil Sadiq said that his country had been focused on fighting terrorism since the beginning of the last century.

Sadiq said its strategy was based on information technology to track and intercept the financing of terrorist groups, which rely on funding from organized crime.

Syrian businessman linked to Assad arrested in Kuwait

Mazen Al-Tarazi has been living in Kuwait for a long while. (AFP/File)
Updated 19 March 2019

Syrian businessman linked to Assad arrested in Kuwait

  • The businessman has a publishing and advertising company in Kuwait
  • He is blacklisted in the EU

KUWAIT CITY: A prominent Syrian businessman with close ties to Syrian President Bashar Assad has been arrested in Kuwait, his lawyer said Tuesday.
Mazen Al-Tarazi was arrested late Monday at his offices, his lawyer Badr Al-Yacoub told AFP.
He said that he did not yet know the reasons behind his client’s arrest.
Local authorities did not immediately release the charges against Tarazi.
But Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Qabas, citing unnamed informed sources, reported that the businessman is accused of money laundering and printing texts without authorization.
A longtime resident of Kuwait, Tarazi owns a publishing and advertising firm in partnership with a high-profile local businessman, Ahmad Al-Jarallah.
Jarallah confirmed to AFP that police had raided his offices on Monday night and arrested Tarazi’s secretary and two Al-Hadaf magazine employees.
Tarazi is on an EU blacklist of Syrian nationals who have been banned from entry to European states and whose assets have been frozen over their role in the Syria war.