A man who Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated (MB) media had claimed was subject to an unwarranted ‘forcible disappearance’ from security authorities has appeared in a video released by the Islamic State-affiliated (IS) Sinai Province on Sunday night, demonstrating his allegiance to the terrorist group. The Sinai Province’s 20-minute ‘Guards of Sharia’ video comes in conjunction with the comprehensive ‘Sinai 2018’ military crackdown against terrorism throughout the peninsula and the country. In the video, the group addresses the criticism and condemnation of Egyptian extremist fundamentalists, before criticizing the MB for its support of democracy and electoral processes.
The terrorist group then threatens Egyptians against participating in the 2018 presidential election, saying that they will be targeting polling stations. Meanwhile, notable footage in the video includes scenes showing a young Egyptian man, Omar al-Deeb.
Egypt’s Interior Ministry stated in September 2017 that security forces had killed Deeb in clashes with a militant group. However, Deeb, who is the son of an MB leader, was subsequently the subject of an MB and social media campaign, in which they had claimed, through MB-affiliated media, that he had ‘forcibly disappeared’ at the hand of authorities.
Contrasting the interior ministry’s statement, his family appeared on MB media outlets to claim that he had been studying ‘Media’ in Malaysia, and that he had been kidnapped by the police upon his arrival to Egypt, before being killed. His family’s narrative gained traction and support from social media users in Egypt, with some accusing police of killing him without reason.
However, Sunday’s ‘Guards of Sharia’ video contradicted his family and the MB’s narrative and supported the interior ministry’s statement, as it showed footage of Deeb as an IS militant in Iraq. The video then notes that Deeb was ordered by IS leadership to relocate from Iraq to Egypt, to join the Egyptian-IS group and commit terrorist operations in the country.
A voice-over then revealed that Deeb had indeed been killed in Egypt in clashes with the country’s security forces. This incident is not the first case in which the MB media outlets – or even human rights organizations – spread information on someone’s forcible disappearance, only to discover they were a member of IS or the MB’s militant wings.