Top Egypt Militant Urges Holy War Against Egyptian President

Peace and Freedom

The Associated Press

CAIRO — A former army officer who is one of Egypt’s most wanted militants called on his fellow countrymen to wage holy war against President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, describing him as a “new pharaoh” in a new recording.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi

The call purportedly by the militant, Hisham el-Ashmawi, marks at least the third time a former military officer has been named as a suspect in major attacks against troops in recent months, a reflection of the increasing polarization in Egyptian society. It also suggests a new insurgent group has joined the fighting in the country’s lawless Sinai Peninsula.

Officials say el-Ashmawi has worked closely with the Sinai-based Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, or “Champions of Jerusalem,” militant group that pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group last year and is blamed for some of Egypt’s most high-profile deadly attacks.

In the recording, el-Ashmawi, who goes by the nom de…

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