Leader of Ajnad Misr killed in blow to ‘terrorism’: Giza security director
Egyptian Security forces - YOUM7/Kareem Abdul Kareem

CAIRO: An alleged leader of the militant group Ajnad Misr was killed Sunday in a Giza apartment after an exchange of fire, according to a police report.

A total of 18 grenades and a large amount of firearms were found in his residence in the blue-collar district of Tawabek, the police said.

The death of Hammam Ateya, 33 and unemployed, is a “strong blow to terrorism and to the organization,” Giza security director Tarek Nasr told Youm7.

Ateya has been pursued for two years; his original place of residence is in Marg, another working-class neighborhood north-east of Cairo. He consistently changed locations, as the police detected his whereabouts three times but he managed to escape before the raids, according to the police report.

Ajnad Misr collaborates with Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which calls itself the Sinai Province since it pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in November, and Ansar al-Sharia in Libya, the police said, adding that the two groups trained Ajnad Misr.

In July 2014, 22 border guards were killed in an armed attack at the Farafra Oasis, near the Libyan borders. The police said the attack was orchestrated by Egyptian and Libyan militants.

Ateya’s accomplices include Khaled Keshk, 23, an engineer, Mohamed Mansour, 32, a computer engineer at the Smart Village responsible for creating bomb circuits to be detonated remotely by a cell phone. The police also reported that Mohamed Selim, Ahmed Medhat and Mohamed Abdel Hameed, 29, owner of a workshop who manufactures the explosives, are senior members of the group and are still being pursued by the police.

Twenty alleged members of the group are standing trial; their next hearing is scheduled for April 19. In their Saturday hearing, the court banned publishing information on the pleadings of the case. Judge Moataz Khafagy also referred four defendants to the Forensic Medicine after they claimed they were tortured inside the Scorpion Prison.

Most recently, Ajnad Misr claimed responsibility for a bomb that detonated March 28 in the vicinity of Cairo University, injuring four policemen and four civilians, according to Youm7. On April 1, the group released a video titled “the roar of [explosive] devices,” vowing to perpetrate more attacks “in retribution.”

Ateya was mentioned in the confessions of Islam Shehata, 23, who was arrested March 13 while attempting to plant a bomb in downtown Cairo. In a video released by the police, Shehata admitted to being a member of Ajnad Misr, and that he placed a bomb on a tree outside Haram Hospital in Giza March 9 with Ateya.

The Egyptian police claim that the Muslim Brotherhood creates “terrorist cells” to claim responsibility for such attacks, repelling accusations of terrorism against the Brotherhood itself.

Designated a “terrorist organization” by Egypt and the U.S., Ajnad Misr has claimed responsibility for violent attacks mainly in Giza, Cairo and other governorates.

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