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Egypt arrests two Germans for Daesh affiliation, deports one

Middle East | 2019-01-11 21:05:00
Egypt arrests two Germans for Daesh affiliation, deports one
Egypt has arrested two German nationals on suspicion they tried to join a Daesh (ISIS) affiliate and deported one of them, Egyptian security sources said Friday. German media reported earlier this month that two Germans had gone missing after arriving separately in Egypt in December.

Germany’s Foreign Ministry Friday confirmed the return of one German national and said another was still in Egyptian custody.

The families of both believe their arrests were cases of mistaken identity. And Egyptian authorities had previously denied the arrests to AFP.

One man was detained at Cairo International Airport over suspicions he was seeking to join Daesh in Egypt’s turbulent northern Sinai region, the Egyptian sources said.

The suspect, who Germany said was 23, was reportedly arrested on Dec. 27.

“Since he did not commit any crime under the Egyptian law and gave up the Egyptian nationality, the authorities decided to deport him to his country of nationality - Germany - in coordination with the German embassy,” one of sources said.

A spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry confirmed that the man had arrived back in the country late Thursday.

The spokesman said the German embassy in Cairo had received confirmation that a second German, aged 18, was also being held and that the mission was seeking consular access to him.

The second suspect was reportedly arrested in mid-December after landing in the southern city of Luxor.

He was found with maps of North Sinai in his possession and authorities believe he came to Egypt with the intent of joining Daesh as well, the Egyptian security sources said.

Procedures were still underway for his deportation to Germany.

The German Foreign Ministry said that it could provide no information on Egypt’s accusation that the men were Daesh followers or whether they would be questioned in Germany.

The country has been battling an insurgency in North Sinai, which surged following the 2013 military ouster of Islamist president Mohammad Morsi.

In February, security forces launched a major operation focused on the troubled region, aimed at wiping out a Daesh affiliate accused of spearheading the insurgency.
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