Egypt Expands Extradition Operations with Neighbors
In the last five months, Egypt has succeeded in expanding its extradition requests from neighboring countries to states it shares good relations with. This has allowed bringing many terrorists to justice.
Highlight extraditions include Hesham Ashmawy from Libya, a 15-member terror cell from Kuwait, and Madin Ibrahim Mohamed Hassanein from Sudan.
Egypt and the majority of Arab countries share many agreements on extraditing wanted fugitives, but their activation remains subject to the strength of bilateral and diplomatic relations.
“Expanding extradition from other countries reflects growing bilateral relations between Cairo and its neighbors, as well as the success of diplomatic and security coordination inside Egypt,” said former assistant to the foreign minister Maj. Gen. Mohammed Noureddine.
“Despite the existence of agreements on extradition with Qatar, they fail to follow through on them because of their domestic policies and their association with organizations to which wanted fugitives belong,” Noureddine told Asharq Al-Awsat.
“The stable domestic situation in Egypt and prosperity of bilateral relations with neighboring countries will contribute to punishing fugitives convicted by judicial rulings,” he emphasized.
Last May, Egypt was handed over the prominent terrorist leader Ashmawy who was arrested by the Libyan National Army (LNA) in the eastern Libyan city of Derna.
Ashmawy’s extradition followed a swift visit carried out by the head of Egyptian intelligence Abbass Kamel to Libya, where he met with LNA Chief Khalifa Hafter.
Ashmawy, 41, was a former officer with Egypt's Special Forces, but left the army in 2011 and later joined a terror group based in the Sinai Peninsula.
He is believed to have gone to Libya in 2013, before pledging allegiance to ISIS in November 2014 and becoming one of Egypt's most wanted terrorists.
He is accused of being behind attacks in Egypt's Western Desert region, operating alongside Emad al-Din Abdel Hamid, another army officer-turned-extremist chief.