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Dec 1, 1:05 PM EST

Egypt official says journalist detained for 'false news'

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CAIRO (AP) -- A police official and the wife of an Egyptian researcher and freelance journalist say he was detained upon arrival at Egypt's Hurghada airport.

Speaking anonymously on Tuesday because he is not authorized to brief reporters, the official said the Egyptian embassy in Berlin had notified airport authorities of Ismail Alexandrani's arrival on Sunday.

The official said he was detained for "cooperating with international human rights organizations" and spreading "false news."

Alexendrani's wife Khadeega Ga'far confirmed his detention, saying he's being "interrogated" Tuesday in the presence of lawyers in Cairo.

Journalist Abdelrahman Ayyash said on his Facebook page that Alexandrani, an expert on militants operating in Egypt's northern Sinai Peninsula, gave a recent presentation in Berlin on the topic.

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