CAIRO, Oct. 8 (SEE)- Eastern Libyan Forces announced on Monday the arrest of an Egyptian terrorist called Hisham Al-Ashmawi.
The Forces’ release stated that Al-Ashmawi was caught amid a security operation in the city of Derna.
Al-Ashmawi, born in 1978, joined the army at the age of 18. He served, in 1996, as an officer in Special Forces Unit called ‘Thunderbolt’ where he showed no opposition to the Egyptian regime.
According to Reuters, a year later, Al-Ashmawi became more pious and started distributing out Islamic pamphlets to other officers, a move that put him under the radar.
Four years later, he was transferred to an administrative post as authorities thought he would be less of a threat. But he met other officers, discussed political Islam, and kept handing out banned books.
Relatives said that they noticed a sharp shift in Al-Ashmawi’s temperament in 2006 after one of his close friends was detained, tortured and died in custody, as per Reuters.
Although, he started his own private business after being expelled out of the army in 2007, he still had connections with Islamist groups’ members.
In 2012, Al-Ashmawi joined ‘Ansar’, a terrorist group, where he emerged as a key operative teaching soldier about suicidal missions.
A raid was carried out for 24 hours in 2013 surrounding him and other militants, but Al-Ashmawi escaped.
He later fled to Libya, making it hard to track him due to the chaos after the fall of the late Libyan President Muamar Gaddafi.