21 – 27 Feb: Interpol issue Red Notice for Mahmoud al-Werfalli

Feb 27, 2018 | Other Jihadi Actors

On 25 February, Interpol issued a Red Notice (i.e. an international wanted persons alert) for Mahmoud al-Werfalli, the field commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Special Forces Saiqa division, for war crimes relating to seven counts of murder. An LNA spokesperson is reported to have responded to the notice stating, “Werfalli’s file is currently under the military law of the National Army. Investigations are still on-going.” The chairman of the National Defence and Security Committee of the House of Representative in Tobruq responded saying, “Libya will not hand over its sons.”

The issuing of the Red Notice follows demands by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for al-Werfalli over a number of alleged summary executions this year and in 2017. On 24 January, photos were released showing Werfalli publicly executing twelve people imprisoned by the LNA who were accused of being jihadists. In August 2017, a video was circulated showed al-Werfalli orchestrating and participation in the execution of prisoners in Benghazi. After the ICC issued the initial arrest warrant in August, the LNA announced it was investigating al-Werfalli and had detained him. However, it became evident that he remained at large. On 7 February, al-Werfalli handed himself in to the LNA for questioning but was soon released following rioting by some Saiqa members who demanded he be released.