31 Jul – 6 Aug: South African captured in Libya by AQ-linked group pleads for release

Aug 7, 2019 | Other Jihadi Actors

On 31 July, Government of National Accord (GNA) head Fayez al-Serraj presented UN Envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame, with a memorandum protesting the latter’s assertions to the UNSC that there are terrorists fighting within the ranks of the GNA-aligned forces. On 4 August, the Misratan Counter-Terrorism Force released a statement claiming “the force that fought battles against terrorism in Sirte in 2016 is the same force defending the capital”. It demanded that the UN either disclose which extremists they meant or issue an apology.

On 3 August, Ali Abdulhafiz al-Zindli, (also known as “Zaza”) was reportedly killed in a Libyan National Army (LNA) air strike in the area of Abu Grein, southeast of Misrata. Zindli is reportedly a member of the Benghazi Defence Brigades.

On 5 August, the Egyptian Attorney General reportedly referred 11 defendants, including 4 Libyans, to trial on charges of communicating to a terrorist organization in Libya for the purpose of committing terrorist crimes against Egyptian citizens.The Libyans accused are Imad Abdel-Salam al-Urfali, Marwan al-Gharib, Miftah Abdul-Salam al-Worfli and Ayad Ahmed Abdul-Salam al-Worfli.

On 5 August, a video emerged which appears to show South African national Gerco van Deventer chained by the feet. Deventer has reportedly been held captive in Libya since 2017 when he was seized by a splinter group linked to al-Qaeda, along with 3 Turkish nationals, on their way to work on Awbari power station. His captors are demanding a $1.5m ransom for his release.