CAIRO: Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim confirmed Monday the death of Shadi El-Meneai, the suspect leader of Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis, denying the group’s statement that says he is still alive.
Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis released a statement on May 25 with published photos of Meneai reading the news of his death in a newspaper but Ibrahim said the photo is fabricated.
The group published other photos of him while mediating a group of masked armed men in black clothes and wrote, “they announced the death of our Jihadist brother Shadi El-Meneai and that he is the Amir of the group. But he did not die and he is not the group’s Amir.”
To remove the doubts of his death, Ibrahim said in a phone call with MBC Masr channel that they will take a sample of his DNA to verify his death and release a statement after the results are out confirming the death.
Security forces announced on May 23 the death of Meneai and three other members killed by security forces with the help of Bedouin tribes in central Sinai but Ansar denied the announcement.
Ibrahim did not confirm that Meneai is the leader of the group but said that he is one of the group’s prominent leaders.
Meneai was previously arrested during the Taba bombings in 2005 and was released during the rule of former President Mohamed Morsi.
Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis was founded in 2011 and claimed responsibility for a number of attacks, including the assassination of head of the Minister of Interior’s technical office General Mohamed al-Saied on Jan. 28 and the attempted assassination of Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim in September 2013.
Cairo Court for Urgent Matters officially labeled Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis as a terrorist organization in April.
The group also claimed responsibility for an attack that rocked South Sinai’s security department early October 2013, the bombing of a tourist bus in Taba on Feb. 17, the bombing that targeted Cairo Security Directorate, and the multiple bombings of the gas pipeline in North Sinai between Egypt, Jordan, and Israel.