US Designates Egypt-based HASM and Liwa al-Thawra as Terrorist Groups

The US Department of State has designated Ismail Haniyeh, Harakat al-Sabireen, Liwa al Thawra, and Harakat Sawa’d Misr (HASM) as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) under Section 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224.

The Department of State announced terrorism designations today against Harakat Sawa’id Misr (HASM) and Liwa al-Thawra, two Islamist groups active in Egypt with suspected ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

HASM and Liwa al-Thawra were formed in 2015 and 2016, respectively, after the overthrow of the former Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in 2013. The two groups have targeted Egyptian police, military forces, and government officials. HASM has also threatened to attack the US Embassy in Cairo.

HASM, which is the Arabic acronym for the Forearms of Egypt Movement, claimed the responsibility for the assassination of Egyptian National Security Agency officer Ibrahim Azzazy, as well as the attempted assassination of Egypt’s former Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa.

The terrorist group also claimed responsibility for a Sept. 30, 2017 attack on Myanmar’s embassy in Cairo.

Liwa al-Thawra, also known as the Revolution Brigade, has claimed responsibility for killing Egyptian army general Adel Ragaei, who commanded the Egypt’s Ninth Armored Division.

The group has played a significant role in destroying smuggling tunnels connecting the Sinai Peninsula to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, as well as a bombing outside a police training center in the Egyptian city of Tanta.

Although the two group’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood are subject to debate, both groups are widely believed to be offshoots of the movement, which was ousted from power in 2013 by the current president Abdel Fatah el-Sisi.

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On Dec. 22, 2017, the United Kingdom added the two groups to its list of proscribed terrorist organizations.

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