Egypt says 16 suspected militants killed in Sinai

The militants were killed during police raids on their hideouts in North Sinai (AFP/File photo)
Updated 21 May 2019
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Egypt says 16 suspected militants killed in Sinai

CAIRO: Egypt’s interior ministry said Tuesday 16 suspected militants have been killed in North Sinai, where security forces have for years been battling a local affiliate of the Daesh group.
The militants were killed during police raids on their hideouts in the provincial capital El-Arish, the ministry said in a statement.
They were found with weapons and explosives in their possession, it added without detailing when the raids took place.
Based on intelligence from the national security department, the ministry alleged the militants had been planning attacks on “important and vital facilities” as well as prominent figures in the city.
Egypt has for years been fighting an insurgency in North Sinai, which escalated following the 2013 removal from power of Islamist president Mohammed Mursi.
Since then, hundreds of police officers and soldiers have been killed in militant attacks.
In February 2018, the army launched a nationwide operation against the militants, focusing mainly on the turbulent North Sinai region.
Some 650 militants and around 45 soldiers have been killed since the start of the offensive, according to separate statements by the armed forces.


How a Qatari financier helped blacklisted terrorists by using UN loopholes

Updated 5 min 29 sec ago
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How a Qatari financier helped blacklisted terrorists by using UN loopholes

  • UN officials accuse countries such as Qatar of not sufficiently monitoring blacklisted terrorists living within its borders
  • The UN has publicly alleged that a series of disclosures showed Al-Subaiy, a former Qatar central-bank official, continuing to finance terrorists and their activities through 2013

DUBAI: Lenient monitoring and loopholes within the United Nations’ Security Council sanctions procedures have allowed blacklisted terrorists with Al-Qaeda and Daesh gain access to frozen bank accounts, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Among those sanctioned, but gaining access to their accounts, is Qatari financier Khalifa al-Subaiy, who the US says provided significant financial support to Al-Qaeda and 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Al-Subaiy, who was added to the UN terror blacklist in 2008, has been withdrawing funds up to $10,000 from frozen accounts for “basic necessities.” Home countries of blacklisted individuals apply for UN exemptions to sanctions that allow access to small amounts of money in order to pay for living expenses and food.

However, the exemptions procedure is “too loosely structured and lacks oversight,” the report added.

UN officials accuse countries such as Qatar of not sufficiently monitoring blacklisted terrorists living within its borders.

“Exemptions are granted to virtually anyone who asks and for amounts that are sometimes seen as unjustifiably large; requests don't adequately detail needs as required; and there are no spending audits,” the report by the WSJ read.

The UN has publicly alleged that a series of disclosures showed Al-Subaiy, a former Qatar central-bank official, continuing to finance terrorists and their activities through 2013.

“I would be hard-pressed to find someone more prominent than him in the whole terrorism financing side,” said Hans-Jakob Schindler, a senior director at the Counter Extremism Project and former adviser to the UN Security Council, told WSJ.