ISN SECURITY WATCH (Wednesday, 12 April 2006: 9.50 CET) — Egypt has freed over 900 members of the radical Islamic Jamaa Islamiya group in recent days, according to the country’s interior ministry.
The AFP news agency reports that the militants were released in groups over the course of the last ten days and that some had been in prison for over 20 years.
One of the leaders of the movement, Najeh Ibrahim, was among those emancipated, an interior ministry official confirmed.
Jamaa Islamiya joined with a second Islamic group, Al-Jihad, in the late 1970s and was responsible for the parade-ground assassination of President Hosni Mubarak’s predecessor and political mentor Anwar Sadat in 1981.
Jamaa also launched a bloody wave of killings in the 1990s that included a November 1997 attack on tourists at Luxor that killed 58 people.