Missing persons’ families reject jihadi ties
Members of jihadist group - AFP/ Karam Al-Masri

CAIRO: The recent announcement of 200 suspected Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis members has been rejected by some families, who say that their relatives on the list are victims of forced disappearance.

A list released by Supreme State Security Prosecution Saturday identified 102 persons in police custody, and 98 persons at large as members of the Sinai-based jihadist group, responsible for 51 major terrorist attacks since the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi.

Amr Rabei, 21, is one of those listed as a suspect at large, and wanted for arrest.

Sanaa Beheiry, Rabei’s mother, reported him missing after his friends told her they witnessed him being apprehended by police outside the Ramses metro station.

“Rabei has been missing for 63 days, we do not know where he is, and now they are accusing him of being a terrorist at the media committee of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis,” Beheiry told The Cairo Post Monday, adding that these charges are “fabricated.”

In a May 8 interview with The Cairo Post, Beheiry said her son, an engineering student, volunteered with many charity organizations and taught street children how to read and write,  as well as recite the Quran.

She said Monday that she has filed a missing person report with the Interior Ministry, but has been given no information about any charges or whether he is in police custody, although she had heard rumors that he had been seen in Azouly prison in Ismailia, that belongs to the army.

Hany Mostafa Amer, 31, a computer programmer from Ismailia was arrested on Dec. 16, 2013 by men wearing civil clothes, according to his brother Hisham Mostafa Amer.

Hany’s name is number five on the list of suspected Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, and is accused of being one of their leaders.

Hisham told The Cairo Post that during the period Hany was missing they filed reports to the Attorney General, but he was not registered as a suspect in any criminal case.

Hisham said Hany’s sole political activities were as a volunteer in the campaign of Salafi Leader Hazem Abu Ismail, a former presidential candidate.

“I understood from the lawyer that most of members of Abu Ismail’s campaign were arrested the same way and then were taken to Azouly Prison,”added Hisham who said that he was told that his brother had been transferred to Azouly.

He continued, “Since my brother’s detention, all the news we hear about him was from people who either released from Azouly or come out to get their detention renewed and then return to prison.”

On April 14, the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters designated the Sinai-based militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis as a terrorist organization, obliging the Cabinet and the interim President Adly Mansour to uphold the decision.

A Twitter account affiliated with the group routinely claims responsibility for violent attacks and bombings, including the downing of the military helicopter in the Sinai in January 2014, and the bombing of a tour bus in Sinai, killing an Egyptian and three South Koreans in February.

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