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Libyan Security Official to Asharq Al-Awsat: Ashmawi Appeared Confused at Time of Arrest

Libyan Security Official to Asharq Al-Awsat: Ashmawi Appeared Confused at Time of Arrest

Thursday, 11 October, 2018 - 07:45
Nasser Ahmed al-Najdi. Asharq Al-Awsat
Cairo - Khalid Mahmoud
“He appeared in a state of shock and confusion when we captured him,” Nasser Ahmed al-Najdi told Asharq Al-Awsat on the arrest in Libya of Hisham el-Ashmawi, the most wanted militant in Egypt.

Najdi, who is the head of “Battalion 169” belonging to the Libyan National Army that arrested Ashmawi in the eastern Libyan city of Derna earlier this week, described the operation as “successful.”

“Not a single bullet was fired,” said Najdi, as he gave details on how his battalion arrested the militant following months of intelligence cooperation between the Egyptians and Libyans in the LNA.

Najdi was a member of the Libyan army under the previous regime. He later joined the LNA which was established by Khalifa Haftar in eastern Libya to confront the “Muslim Brotherhood” and the rest of terrorist organizations there.

Ashmawi “clearly has an aggressive personality,” said the commander. “His looks and psychological condition at the time of his arrest clearly showed that he is extremely aggressive.”

The armed militant was moving from street to street along with his bodyguards at the time of his arrest on Monday. “He wasn’t expecting us,” Najdi told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The militant was wearing explosives and had injuries that he had sustained in previous operations, he said.

Several documents revealing plots of sabotage and assassinations were found in his possession, he told the newspaper.

“All I can say is that the armed forces captured a terrorist ringleader who funded and trained terrorists.”

Najdi expected several other terrorist leaders to be swiftly apprehended following Ashmawi’s arrest.

Asked about the militant's interrogation, the commander said his role ended when the LNA handed Ashmawi over to investigators.

An Egyptian official expected in remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat that Ashmawi would be sent to Egypt soon.

The official, who refused to be identified, said: “There are some routine procedures that would be completed swiftly.”

“The LNA is fully cooperating with us. I don’t think there would be any problem in that regard,” he added.

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