Egypt: Free Egyptian Army being formed in Libya
By: Iman Ibrahim
Published Thursday, April 10, 2014
Cairo: Egyptian security forces continue to chase armed groups active in the country. The confrontation does not seem it will come to end soon, with the information unfolding daily to security agencies about plans by those group to destabilize Egypt.
Security sources revealed to Al-Akhbar that "intelligence and security agencies succeeded in monitoring the movements of terrorist groups and arrested some of them inside the towns and villages of northern Egypt, as well as the eastern, western, and southern borders of Egypt."
The sources claim that those apprehended belong to armed Islamist groups, particularly Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, who "confessed that they aimed to target vital installations, mainly the bombing of the Aswan High Dam, which was at the top of their target list, in addition to targeting a number of churches, places of worship, and police and army facilities."
Identifying the plots of those organizations coincided with public prosecutor Hisham Barakat's decision to present "68 terrorists," including Mohammed al-Zawahiri, brother of al-Qaeda's leader Ayman Zawahiri, to the criminal courts. They are accused of "establishing a terrorist organization inside Egypt to target state installations and citizens."
All the members of this organization and various splinter takfiri cells, whether in Sinai or the various Delta governorates, have been trained at the hands of Ansar Bait al-Maqdis commanders in Sinai. They were then given the choice between remaining in the organization or working through separate entities, in the aim of destabilizing the internal situation and sabotaging the presidential elections.
The organization and related groups "placed the targeting of the army and police at the top of their priorities, through armed ambushes and bombings aimed at damaging the state's prestige in Sinai and forcing the armed forces to end its operations in the peninsula." according to the security sources.
Intelligence reports indicated that Ansar Bait al-Maqdis has resorted to creating parallel entities, made up of its own members, and giving them fake names on social networks, like Twitter and Facebook, in the aim of distracting the security forces in their search.
Commenting on the situation in Egypt, informed military sources told Al-Akhbar that "Egypt is in a real crisis," in reference to the gravity of the delicate situation in which the country is going through. "The ignorance of the security forces and intelligence services of new elements of terrorism is disastrous," as the sources put it.
According to the sources, "attempts to create a Free Egytian Army in Libya have been identified, with the participation of the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda and under Qatari-Turkish-Iranian patronage, in addition to plans to target vital installations, including Cairo International Airport, the storming of prisons to free Muslim Brotherhood detainees, and spreading chaos to sabotage the presidential elections."
"Factories in Libya are making Egyptian army uniforms and distributing them to members of the Free Egyptian Army, in preparation to enter the country in the future and implement those schemes and awaiting the zero hour, which will be set by the intelligence agencies that control them," the sources explained.
Sources told Al-Akhbar that a person called Sharif al-Radwani is in charge of Free Egyptian Army training camps in Libya. He had participated in violent armed operations in Syria, Lebanon, and Pakistan. The contact person is someone called Ismail al-Salabi, who is a member of al-Qaeda and is in contact with the head of Qatari intelligence, Ghanem al-Kubaisi. They met secretly in Qatar in the past few months.
"Kami al-Saifi and Ismail al-Salabi, who are both in al-Qaeda, were in contact with the Muslim Brotherhood's deputy general guide Khairat el-Shater and have a special role to play in creating instability prior to the upcoming presidential elections," the sources continued.
"The Free Egyptian Army includes Egyptian students who fled to Libya. The were assisted by Abu Fahd al-Zaz, a military commander who had participated in the fighting in Syria and then returned to Libya," the sources added.
The sources explained that al-Qaeda elements joined the training camps under the banner of Sufian al-Hakim, a leader in the organization. They are being supplied with weapons and ammunition smuggled through the Libyan borders. This is in addition to Qatari officers being present on Libyan soil to meet with the founding members of the free army, who are headed by Abu Ubaida, an al-Qaeda commander who participated in developing those schemes. They met in Tripoli for two hours in one of its famous hotels.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.