Egyptian authorities yesterday deported the German-Egyptian citizen, Issa Mohamed Al-Sabbagh, who had been reported “missing” for weeks, state-owned Middle East News Agency (MENA) has reported.
Al-Sabbagh, 19, was arrested on 17 December upon his arrival in Egypt at the Luxor International Airport. The agency quoted the southern city’s airport authorities as saying that they had found maps of the country’s North Sinai province, along with a compass, in Al-Sabbagh’s possession.
“Al-Sabbagh seemed to have adopted the ideology of Daesh in Germany,” the authorities pointed out, adding that he had arrived in Egypt to Daesh ranks in northern Sinai.
He planned to use the maps and the compass to reach Daesh “terrorists” in Sinai, the authorities stressed.
The teenager was released on Sunday after his appearance before Egypt’s Supreme State Security Prosecution when it decided to deport him to the German capital of Berlin. His deportation was coordinated between the state authorities and the German embassy in Cairo.
Al-Sabbagh was the second German citizen to be deported from Egypt over alleged Daesh links. On Friday, the Cairo airport authorities deported another 24-year-old German-Egyptian Mahmoud Abdel Aziz, claiming that he was attempting “to join Daesh terrorist ranks in Sinai.” Abdel Aziz later denied the allegations on Saturday in a video on Facebook.
Last week, German media reported that the country’s authorities were investigating the disappearance of two of its citizens who had gone “missing” in Egypt in recent weeks. Days later, the German foreign ministry said that one of the lost citizens “was being held by the Egyptian authorities.”
Egypt claims to be waging a war on terror in the peninsula against local Daesh affiliate “Sinai Province”. Since 2013 this has led to a violent crackdown, which intensified earlier this year when the Egyptian government launched Sinai 2018 ahead of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s deadline to “restore stability and security” to the region.