Egypt deports second German student and alleged ‘jihadist’

Egypt has deported the second of two young German men who were arrested last month as suspected jihadist militants, the foreign ministry in Berlin said Monday.

Egypt deports second German student and alleged 'jihadist'
ElSabagh, 18, landed at Frankfurt airport on Monday. Photo: DPA

Eighteen-year-old Issa Ibrahim ElSabagh landed at Frankfurt airport, reported Spiegel Online, following last week's repatriation of Mahmoud Abdel-Aziz, 23.

A ministry spokeswoman confirmed that “the person arrived back in Germany last night”.

Both men had vanished in December in Egypt, where the government only
reported their arrests following inquiries by Germany.

Their families had raised the alarm and have called the arrests cases of mistaken identity.

ElSabagh, a German-Egyptian dual citizen and student in the city of Giessen in Hesse, was arrested in mid-December after landing in the southern city of Luxor.

Egyptian security sources said the two men were suspected of having tried to join the Islamic State group's affiliate in the troubled Sinai peninsula.

German prosecutors said last week they were looking into the Egyptian media reports on Abdel-Aziz to investigate whether there were “any indications of criminal offences”.

The 23-year-old has since posted a video on Facebook in which he denied he is an Islamist militant who supports violence or has any IS links.

The student from the university town of Göttingen also said he had flown to Egypt to visit his grandparents and retracted anything he had said in Egypt “under duress and pressure”.

Egypt has been battling insurgency in North Sinai, which spiked following the 2013 military ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

In February, security forces launched a major Sina operation aimed at wiping out an IS affiliate accused of spearheading the insurgency.

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Emergency numbers fail in several German states

Callers to the emergency numbers 110 and 112 weren’t able to reach operators Thursday morning in several German states.

The 112 emergency number on an ambulance.
The 112 emergency number on an ambulance. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

The emergency number 110 for police and 112 for fire crews failed around the country early Thursday morning, with callers unable to reach emergency operators for urgent assistance between about 4:30 am and 5:40 am local time.

The Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid is looking into these outages, which were reported in states including Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, and  Brandenburg, and in major cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. Cologne was further affected by cuts to electricity, drinking water, and regular telephone services. Lower Saxony also saw disruptions to the internal phone networks of police and hospitals.

Emergency services are not reporting any more disturbances and people should be able to once again reach 110 and 112 around the country as normal.

Investigators are looking into the problem, but haven’t yet established a cause or any consequences that may have happened due to the outage. Provider Deutsche Telekom says they have ruled out the possibility of an attack by hackers.