Cairo International Airport authorities have prevented a senior Islamist figure from traveling to Saudi Arabia to perform the Umra pilgrimage to Mecca.
Groups of Islamists headed to the airport to inquire about the reason behind banning the leader of Jama'a al-Islamiya, Tarek El Zomor, from travel.
They said there was no legal justification for the move, and accused elements from the National Security Agency, formerly the State Security Investigation Services, who currently work at the airport, of plotting the measure.
An airport security source told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the move was taken due to El Zomor's failure to obtain permission from public security authorities, and that such measures are applied to former convicts.
The National Security Agency office at the airport did not take responsibility for the travel ban, and said El Zomor’s passport was not confiscated by security authorities. It added that it is currently coordinating with public security authorities to issue permission for El Zomor to travel.
Jama'a al-Islamiya was banned under the Mubarak regime. During the 1990s, it carried out armed attacks against tourists and security leaders, but later renounced violence. This May, the group formed its first political party, the Construction and Development Party, to run in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
Translated from the Arabic Edition