Tags: Egypt | Arrests | Islamists | Tied | Bin | Laden

Egypt Arrests Islamists Tied to Bin Laden

Sunday, 16 September 2001 12:00 AM

Sources in Egypt's security services told United Press International that the groups under investigation are Islamic Jama-ah and Islamic Jihad, both of which announced a halt to their paramilitary operations nearly four years ago, after an attack by Islamic extremists on Western tourists in the city of Luxor. Sixty-four people, including 57 foreigners, were killed in the November 1997 attack.

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said some followers of the militias were arrested soon after the suicide hijackings of the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon, near Washington, on Tuesday. The attacks, in which the United States says bin Laden is a prime suspect, are estimated to have killed about 5,100 people, though the search for bodies is continuing.

Some time after the attacks, Egyptian security officials received information that Islamic Jama-ah and Islamic Jihad were attempting to regroup after their hiatus and start operating again, the sources said.

Egypt's prosecutor general ordered the militia members arrested and held 15 days for interrogation before deciding whether to refer the case to a criminal court, as Egyptian law allows.

Twenty-four members of Islamic Jihad were arrested in Giza, near the capital, Cairo, while 13 others from Islamic Jama-ah were seized in the Fayyoum district, Muntasser al-Zayyat, a lawyer who often represents Islamic group members in criminal proceedings, said in an interview.

He said the detainees were charged with belonging to banned organizations and with trying to resume activities aimed at overthrowing the government. Under Egypt's strict national-security laws, the charges are punishable by life in prison and death, respectively.

According to al-Zayyat, one of the suspects is Wael Hussein, who was recently released after several years in prison. Authorities suspect Hussein of leading efforts to revive Islamic Jama-ah, the largest armed Islamic organization in Egypt, which is accused of violent raids on government offices and security agents before its forced shutdown in late 1997.

Al-Zayyat said the activities of Islamic Jihad and Islamic Jana-ah were limited to "preaching" and noted that books on Islam had been seized in the recent arrests of their followers.

Both militias are known to have close links to bin Laden and his al-Qaeda (the Base) organization, which the United States, Russia and other governments say trains terrorists. Several leaders of the militias, including Islamic Jihad head Ayman al-Zawahiri and Islamic Jama-ah commander Mohammed Atef (also known as Abou Hafas al-Masri), live in Afghanistan, where the ruling Taliban militia is hosting bin Laden.

Authorities say al-Zawahiri is a top lieutenant of bin Laden's; Atef is said to have an important post in al-Qaeda and one of his daughters is married to one of bin Laden's sons.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

All rights reserved.

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Pre-2008
Sources in Egypt's security services told United Press International that the groups under investigation are Islamic Jama-ah and Islamic Jihad, both of which announced a halt to their paramilitary operations nearly four years ago, after an attack by Islamic extremists on...
Egypt,Arrests,Islamists,Tied,Bin,Laden
454
2001-00-16
Sunday, 16 September 2001 12:00 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved