On 18 March, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian visited Tripoli and praised the “significant progress” made by Haftar in southern Libya “in the face of terrorist groups, organised criminals and armed foreign groups.”
Other Jihadi Actors
Our archive of political and security incidents relating to Jihadi actors in Libya such as Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
On 6 March, Bosnian security services stated Nusret Imamovic, one of the country’s most wanted terrorists, had arrived in Libya sometime in February.
On 26 February, Al-Qaeda affiliated armed groups mobilized 130km east of Misrata according to Libyan National Army (LNA) spokesperson, Ahmed al-Mesmari.
20 February – 26 February: Misrata arrest suspected al-Qaeda member thought involved in Jordanian ambassador kidnapping
On 25 February, Misratan security forces arrested suspected al-Qaeda member, Ayman Abu Amoud, who is thought to have been involved in the kidnapping of the Jordanian ambassador to Libya, Fawaz al-Itan, in 2014.
On 13 February, the Libyan National Army’s (LNA) spokesperson Ahmed al-Mismari stated that military operations in Derna had concluded. On 13 February, LNA operations to clear Derna’s old city uncovered the bodies of DPF members. On 14 February, the Derna Intelligence Service announced that it had arrested suspected terrorist Muatasim Ahmed Bouktaouh.
On 9 February, the eastern-based interim government aligned with Khalifa Haftar’s LNA announced the conclusion of military operations in Derna. On 12 February, the 46 remaining fighters belonging to the Derna Protection Force surrendered to the LNA. On 8 February, security forces in Misrata arrested two suspected al-Qaeda members.
On 29 January, the LNA arrested al-Qaeda member Alamin Ali Kalfa near Sebha. On 2 February, LNA forces and the Derna Protection Force clashed in the old city area of Derna.
On 27 January, the LNA claim to have killed AQIM field commander Adel Ahmad al-Abdali during a raid in the Hijarah area of Sebha. On 24 January, Anti-Terror Forces in Misrata arrested a terror suspect, Ali Amin. On 27 January, the Criminal Investigation Agency of Misrata arrested terror suspect, Zakaria Saleh al-Sheikh, in Misrata.
On 17 January, the LNA claimed to have killed senior Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) member Abdelmonem Al-Hasnawi (aka Abu Tallha al-Libi).
9 January – 15 January: Tripoli’s Dhat al-Imad office complex evacuated following reports of a bomb threat
On 11 January, the General Security Directorate defused an IED in a deserted farm in western Tripoli. On 10 January, Tripoli’s Criminal Investigation Department evacuated the Dhat al-Imad office complex following reports of a bomb threat.
On 7 January, security forces arrested a former member of Ansar al-Sharia, Amad al-Ghariyani. On 2 January, Nigeria’s Defence Minister, stated that several Nigerien solders were attacked by ‘fundamentalist’ fighters based in Libya.
On 24 December, the Libyan National Army’s 73 Brigade clashed with Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB) forces in Wadi Dinar, southeast of Bani Walid.
On 19 December, unconfirmed reports suggest “extremists” undertook a suicide bombing on the Port of Benghazi. On 16 December, Libyan National Army (LNA) and Derna Protection Forces (DPF) clashed in the old city of Derna.
On 17 December, heavy clashes occurred between LNA forces and Derna Protection Force (DPF) remnants in Derna. On 11 December, the BDB took control of a checkpoint in Abu Grein.
On 6 December, AQIM released a statement denying any links to those killed in the AFRICOM air strikes on 29 November near al-Uwaynat.
On 1 December, a Benghazi Defense Brigade convoy of 40 vehicles was observed driving along the coastal road from Tawergha to Misrata.
On 17 November, the LNA undertook three airstrikes targeting an “al-Qaeda linked group” near Sadada, 76km east of Misrata.
14 November – 20 November: “Local terrorist organizations” in Libya responsible for two attacks in early November
On 13 November, the Egyptian Dar Al-Ifta’a fatwa and takfiri monitoring group reported that between 3 November and 9 November “local terrorist organizations” in Libya undertook two attacks.
On 10 November, Misrata local security forces arrested two individuals connected to the Ajdabiya Revolutionaries Shura Council. On 4 November, the Anti-ISIS Operations Room claimed to have arrested a member of the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council.
On 4 November, the LNA spokesperson stated that investigations into al-Qaeda affiliated Egyptian terrorist Hisham Ashmawi were on going.
On 22 October, the Libyan National Army (LNA) killed al-Qaeda leader, Abd Al-Ghaffar Mansour Al-Tashani, during a sniper operation in the al-Maghar district of Derna.
On 21 October, the Commander of the Training Wing of the Derna Police Institute survived an assassination attempt by Derna Protection Force remnants in eastern Derna.
On October 10, the Libyan National Army captured al-Qaeda affiliated Egyptian terrorist Safwat Zeiden who is believed to be the bodyguard of Hisham Ashmawi.
On 8 October, the LNA captured former Egyptian Special Forces officer turned jihadist, Hisham al-Ashmawy, in the al-Maghar neighborhood of Derma. Al-Ashmawy was captured with a suicide vest on, which he had failed to detonate.
On 25 September, an attempt to assassinate the Dean of the Derna Municipality, Abdel-Moneim al-Ghaithi, was thwarted following the identification and dismantling of an Improvised Explosive Devise close to his room in the Pearl Hotel. Derna Protection Force (DPF) remnants are suspected of being responsible for the attack.
On 21 September, suspected Al-Qaeda members launched an attack using an RPG on a senior security official in Sebha.
Libyan National Army’s RADA Central Deterrent Forces arrested two suspected terrorists in Ajdabiya. On 14 September, a terrorist attack was reported to have occurred targeting the Zliten Security Directorate.
On 7 September, AQIM-linked media accounts published a eulogy for the Libyan AQIM commander Miloud Sadaga. Sadaga. Originally from Derna, Sadaga fought against the LNA, where he died, under the ‘banner of Ansar al-Shaira’.
On 1 September, fighting between the Libyan National Army (LNA) and the remnants of the Derna Protection Force (DPF) renewed in Derna, reportedly left 11 LNA fighters dead and 19 injured.
The local security directorate in Jalu region announced last week that it had arrested a foreign fighter cell, reportedly preparing for operations against the Libyan National Army (LNA).
On 18 August, Abdulkader Jumaa Abdul-Hadi Afnish Al-Zwai, a senior leader and founding member of the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB) and the AROR, died following a raid on his home in Misrata.
On 13 August, the Libyan National Army’s 101 Infantry Brigade clashed with Derna Protection Forces remnants near Gate 200 on the Tubruk-Ajdabiya highway. On 11 August, the Libyan National Army conducted airstrikes from its al-Jufra airbase targeting Benghazi Defence Brigade (BDB) forces located near al-Saddadah.
Ahmed Abdul Karim Hamza, an official with Libya’s National Human Rights Committee, has stated that several mosques through Libya have being used by ISIS and al-Qaeda to radicalize and recruit youths.
On 25 July, airstrikes are reported to have occurred targeting a house in the Sharib area near Ubari in Southern Libya, containing individuals thought to be affiliated with al-Qaeda.
On 21 July, reports began emerging suggesting that prominent al-Qaeda linked figures Mahfouz Ould al-Walid (Abu Hafs al-Mauritani) and Hisham Ashmawi (Abu Omar al-Muhajir al-Masri) are amongst the Derna Protection Force (DFP) remnants isolated to small pockets of old town Derna by the LNA.
On 11 July, Libyan National Army (LNA) 106th Battalion, led by Khalifa Haftar’s son Khalid, issued an arrest warrant for al-Saiqa Commander Mahmoud al-Werfalli, a notable figure among ‘Madkhali’ Salafists in the LNA. Al-Werfalli reportedly threatened al-Madani al-Fakhiri, who currently heads the Military Investment Agency.
Last week, the Libyan National Army’s 101 Brigade published photos that circulated on social media of senior al-Qaeda leader Sufiyan Bin Qammu amongst other al-Qaeda militants in Derna. Qammu is thought to be a prominent al-Qaeda theoretician in Libya and is known within the group as “The Libyan Knight.”
On 28 June, commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar announced the ‘liberation’ of the city of Derna. Earlier that day the LNA had stated that they had complete control of the city and that Brigadier General Salem al-Rifadi was appointed the head of the Joint Security Operations Room for the city.
On 25 June, the leader of the Derna Protection Forces (formerly known as the Derna Mujahideen Shura Council), Atiyah al-Shaari, was reportedly killed in a Libyan National Army (LNA) airstrike in downtown Derna.
On 16 June, the Libyan National Army (LNA) claimed to have captured al-Qaeda linked Ansar al-Sharia commander Safian bin Kamou during a raid in northern Derna. On 14 June, two senior leaders of the Benghazi Defence Brigade (BDB), Ahmad al-Tajouri and Faraj Shaku, were allegedly killed by airstrikes as they moved from Bani Walid to the Oil Crescent.
6 June – 12 June: Derna Mujahadeen Shura Council religious ideologue and alleged al-Qaeda recruiter killed in Derna
On 9 May, one of the Derna Mujahadeen Shura Council’s key religious ideologues with alleged connections to al-Qaeda, Omar Refaair Sorour, was killed during a Libyan National Army (LNA) air strike on a residential area in downtown Derna.
On 5 June, the Libyan National Army (LNA) spokesperson Ahmed al-Mismari announced that LNA forces had taken control of 75 percent of Derna from the DPF. The day before In a video announcement to the LNA and civilians in Derna, Haftar highlighted to his troops the importance of protecting prisoners of war and warned of the dangers to civilians of Derna in aiding and abetting ‘terrorists”.
The Libyan National Army (LNA) campaign against the Derna Mujahadeen Shura Council (DMSC) – which has now renamed itself the Derna Protection Force (DPF)– continues in Derna. On 28 May, the LNA announced that it had taken control of the western entrance of Derna, the industrial area of al-Fatayah, and the areas in and around the al-Katib factory.
On 12 May, the DMSC announced it was dissolving itself and changing its name to ‘the Derna Protection Force’. On 15 May, the LNA’s Omar Mukhtar Operations Room claimed to have completely captured al-Hila, south of Derna, as a part of on going operations to take the city from the DMSC.
On 1 May, factions in Misrata eulogised the former leader of the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council (BRSC), Wissam Bin Hamid, after news of his death was officially announced by his family. He was reportedly killed on 10 December 10, 2016.
On 23 April, reports suggest the al-Qaeda affiliated jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia (AS) were involved in clashes between the Libyan National Army (LNA) and the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC) west of Derna. On 25 April, an alleged ‘extremist cell’ was apprehended in al-Jufrah by LNA-affiliated forces.
On 18 April, a motorcade with Libyan National Army (LNA) Military Governor and LNA chief of Staff Abdulrazzaq al-Nadhouri was attacked by alleged “terrorist sleeper cells” using a VBIED as it moved through Sidi Khalifa, north of Benghazi. On 22 April, the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC), which is currently in the control of the city of Derna, released a conciliatory statement calling for an end to the conflict between itself and the LNA.
11 Apr – 17 Apr: LNA arrest Ansar al-Sharia figure while issuing “final readiness” orders for an impending assault on Derna
On 12 April, Libyan National Army (LNA) forces arrested an Ansar al-Sharia (AS) figure from Sirte named Salem Abdul Qaway al-Gaddafi while hiding in the Jufra area. On 14 April, the LNA Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Abdurrazaq al-Nadhouri, issued “final readiness” orders to LNA troops station near Derna heralding an impending assault on the city controlled by the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council.
4 Apr – 10 Apr: UK “likely” to have communicated with LIFG in 2011 while DMSC undertake surprise attack on LNA
On 3 April, the UK government stated that it was “likely” that it had been in communication with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and the 17 February Martys Brigade during the war in Libya in 2011. On 5 April, the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC) claimed to have undertaken a surprise attack on Libyan National Army (LNA) forces in southern Derna, allegedly killing two LNA fighters.
On 1 April, in a media statement, Libyan National Army (LNA) leader Khalifa Haftar warned that the time given to the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC) – who occupies and controls the city of Derna – to disarm and lay down their weapons has expired and suggests that major clashes in Derna could start at any time.
On 24 March, the LNA aligned Salafist ‘Arrest and Investigation Units’ of Benghazi and Ajdabiya were disbanded with their respective members re-integrated into the Internal Security Organisations in their respective cities. On 23 March, the Tarik Ben Zeyad brigade, who are one of the two most powerful Salafist brigades aligned to the LNA, deployed to southern Libya.
On 18 March, the Libyan National Army (LNA) released details of the arrest of 16 alleged “terrorists” in the Kufra region of southern Libya carrying Syrian and Sudanese passports.
On 11 March, it was reported that Saudi Arabia had extradited to the LNA two alleged al-Qaeda members accused of abducting five Egyptian diplomats in Tripoli in 2014. The two suspects were arrested in June 2017 in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and are said to be members of the al-Qaeda aligned Libyan militant groups.
On 4 March, four people were allegedly injured by artillery shelling from the LNA 321 artillery battalion on al-Zintan neighbourhood near the western entrance of Derna. The following day the UN Secretary-General envoy, Ghassan Salame held a meeting in Tripoli with a delegation from Derna to discuss the evolving humanitarian situation in the city.
On 25 February, Interpol issued a Red Notice for Mahmoud al-Werfalli, the field commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Special Forces Saiqa division, for war crimes relating to summary executions of LNA prisoners accused of being jihadists.
An LNA offensive against the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC), which controls Derna, appears imminent. The LNA continues to deploy large ground forces to Derna from Benghazi, Ajdabiya and other areas to prepare for the assault. Haftar dismissed Wanis Bukhamada as head of the Benghazi JSFOR, replacing him with Abdurrazaq al-Nadhouri.
On 9 February, a double bombing occurred at Saad Ibn Ibada mosque in the Majouri district of Benghazi during Friday prayers. The attack killed 2 people and wounded at least 75 people.
31 Jan – 6 Feb: LNA prepares for offensive against DMSC in Derna and asks citizens to move away from possible targets
Last week, the LNA deployed forces from Benghazi and nearby towns to take up positions around Derna and prepare an offensive against the Derna Mujahadeen Shura Council, which controls the city. The LNA’s Omar al-Mukhtar Operation Room Commander asked all citizens to move away from possible targets, indicating that shelling and/or airstrikes may be used.
On 23 January, a dual bombing in Benghazi led to at least 40 deaths, with many of those critically injured in the initial attack subsequently dying from their wounds. While no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, LNA- affiliated groups have blamed jihadists. On 29 January, the DMSC executed 3 people who they accused of being LNA loyalists.
On January 20 and 21, the Libyan National Army (LNA) 321 Battalion and Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC) were reportedly shelling each other in the southern districts of Derna.
10 – 16 Jan: Alleged Misrata bound vessel carrying cargo intended for “building bombs used for terrorist acts”
On 8 January, the ship Andromeda – reportedly on its way from Turkey to Misrata – was found to contain 29 containers of explosives and 11 empty Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) tanks, which the Libyan National Army described as being intended for “building bombs used for terrorist acts.”
While there has been a significant amount of armed group activity in Libya this week, there have been no notable incidences connected to Jihadi actors outside of ISIS. For ISIS activity, see the ISIS in Action section.
On 28 December, the Libyan National Army announced the full purge of jihadist forces from Benghazi – six months after the LNA initially declared the city liberated. The following day, Derna reportedly received some of the fleeing BRSC-linked fighters.
On 26 December, unknown attackers caused an explosion on the Zagout-Sidra oil pipeline. The explosion occurred on the pipeline 256km south east of Sidra and 25km north of Marada. The attackers are reported to have arrived at the site in two cars and planted explosives on the pipeline. Muftah Magariaf, the head of the Libyan […]
The Derna Mujahadeen Shura Council (DMSC), the jihadi organization that controls the besieged city of Derna, stepped up its anti-ISIS operations throughout last week, arresting former ISIS members who had previously been detained or absorbed by the DMSC, and clashing with others. On 17 December, fighting between the Libyan National Army (LNA) and DMSC fighters east of Derna is reported to have left one LNA fighter dead and another wounded in the Kassarat area.
Ismail Kamoka and four other Libyans have successfully won a legal case to sue the UK’s M15 and M16 for unlawful detention and the unlawful use of counter-terrorism control orders. On 7 December, Human Rights Watch released a statement detailing the destruction of two historic Sufi mosques this year in Tripoli.
On 28 November, Libyan national Ahmed Abu Khattala, was convicted of terrorism charges related to the 2012 September 11 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi and the attack on the nearby CIA annex on the 12th. The jury acquitted Khattala of 14 of the 18 charges, which included finding him not guilty of […]
On 27 November, the LNA conducted an airstrike on DMSC targets in al-Dahra al-Hamar area, south of Derna. On 23 November, a mutiny inside a Misratan prison among Islamist hardliners led to four prisoners fleeing, with two later killed in a faceoff with prison guards.
On 18 November, the LNA conducted two airstrikes against DMSC targets in al-Dahra al-Hamar area, south of Derna. On 16 November, the Egyptian Ministry of Interior said that the perpetrators of an attack against Egyptian police forces in the Wahat area in Egypt on 20 October ,were trained in Derna. On 14 November, the Misrata local attorney released a number of high profile fighters with suspected links to extremist groups, on the grounds of illegal arrest procedures.
On 9 November, the LNA claimed complete control of Sidi Khribesh district of Benghazi. The LNA reportedly defeated the remnants of the jihadist coalition hiding there. On 7 November, the death of BRSC member Mohammed Bakr al-Yedri, known as ‘al-Nahla’ led to protests in Misrata.
On 5 November, the GNA- appointed Deputy Minister for Interior in Benghazi, Faraj Gaem, survived an IED assassination attempt on his motorcade and intense clashes broke out in Benghazi between the LNA and ‘remnants’ of the BRSC. In Tripoli, Rada raided a comic con event and Igtet called for the JCP to disband.
On 26 October, 36 handcuffed bodies were discovered in mass grave 50km south west of Benghazi. They seem to have been executed in the style attributed to LNA field commander Mahmoud al-Werfalli. On 26 October, Misratan security detained three alleged jihadists in Souq al-Khamis, east of Khoms. Clashes were reported in Zliten between forces said to be from Misrata and local Islamist fighters.
On 20 October, two young DMSC fighters, Salem Abdul Wahhab al-Gerbadi and Abdullah Idris al-Gabaili, were killed in clashes between the LNA and the DMSC in the Dahr al-Hamar area south of Derna. On 23 October, Rada Special Deterrent Force arrested two senior members of the DMSC, Khalid al-Hassadi and Adel al-Karghal, at a hotel in downtown Tripoli.
In the wake of the ISIS attack in Mirata earlier this month, on 11 October, clashes broke out between hard-line fighters affiliated with Islamist factions and Misratan security forces, during a security operation in al-Sakt area south of Misrata city. Thirteen people were arrested, including two senior leaders of the BDD. In Washington D.C., Ahmed Abu Khattala is currently on trial for his alleged involvement in the September 2012 attack on the US Special Mission in Benghazi that killed 4 Americans.
The Supreme Committee for Issuing Fatwas (Al-Lajna al-‘Ulya li-l-Ifta’), which is based in the eastern city Al-Bayda and is associated with Khalifa Haftar, has called for Jihad in Sabratha against “Kharijites,” a term used by Dignity Operation members to label their opponents. The announcement follows the Committee’s controversial Fatwa denouncing Ibadis earlier this summer. Following this announcement the eastern government, headed by Abdullah Al-Thanni, ordered mosques in the region to perform Qunut prayers to ask God to defeat the “Kharijites” in Sabratha.
On 28 September, the Attorney General’s Office said that the storming of the US Special Mission in Benghazi on 11 September 2012 was carried out by Ansar al-Sharia, under direct orders from AQ leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. On 2 October, the trial of Ahmed Abu Khatallah, who is accused of orchestrating the Benghazi attack, began in the US.
On 17 September, the LNA broadcast the televised ‘confessions’ of Ibrahim Muftah Abu Nuwwara, an imprisoned Ansar al-Sharia fighter from Ajdabiya, in which he confessed to ordering assassinations in Ajdabiya. This sparked reprisals with the houses of those involved, namely the Jadhran and Abu Nuwwara families, being burned down.
13-19 September: Ghariani and Ghwell side with Igtet over anti-GNA protests planned for 25 September
Islamist ‘hardliners’ such as Grand Mufti Sadeq al-Ghariani and Khalifa al-Ghwell have been quick to back Igtet over anti-GNA protests planned for 25 September, in Tripoli’s Martyrs’ Square. GNA-affiliates Haithem Tajouri and Hashem Bishr both denounced the planned demonstrations and threatened to suppress the protest.
The DMSC is experiencing significant local backlash after the alleged abduction, torture and killing of a pro- LNA Salafist resident of Derna on 4 September. On 11 September, a key figurehead of the hardliner Islamist faction, Sheikh Abdul Razzag Emshirib, was reportedly detained by Tripoli’s GNA-aligned Special Deterrence Force (Rada).
Misrata Counter Terrorism Unit arrested a senior member of the BDB, Ahmed Bakir, for alleged cooperation with ISIS and supplying foreign mercenaries to extremist groups. The CT unit also released a ‘confessions’ video of senior BRSC affiliate, Mohammed al-Khafifi, admitting membership in ISIS and claiming that his group had cooperated with the BDB in a number of suicide attacks
On 27 August, Serraj met with Sudanese president Bashir and they agreed to cooperate on security issues with a particular emphasis on fighting terrorism and border security. Misratan security forces arrested Usama Jadhran in Misrata for his alleged membership of Ansar al-Sharia and connections with ISIS.
The Justice and Construction party has turned on Tripoli’s Dar Al-Ifta head, Sheikh Sadek Ghariani after he pronounced that anyone who backed the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) was “non-believer”. The party declared that the sheikh’s denunciation of LPA supporters was “irresponsible” and that it would engender further bloodshed. The JC insists that the PC and the LPA were the only option for Libya.
On 13 August, a delegation of Misratan power brokers and senior BM figures travelled to Qatar to meet with Qatari officials. Media reports say Qatar is prepared to support the BM’s military operations in addition to logistical support. The conflict between the LNA and DMSC deescalated slightly as the LNA eased the full siege it enacted on Derna two weeks ago, but new airstrikes on DMSC positions in the west of the city indicate a potential for re-escalation.
In late July after the DMSC downed an LNA jet over Derna and alleged killed and mutilated its pilot Adel Jehani, triggering a tightening of the LNA siege on the city. Local sources report that the LNA’s Saiqa Special Forces have reportedly moved to Derna to join the LNA in preparation for a major assault on the city in conjunction with an internal uprising, targeting key DMSC leaders and military targets.
On 26 July, Libyan National Army (LNA) Special Operations forces posted photos of a captured Ansar al-Sharia senior leader, Ibrahim Abu Nawwara. Conflict in Derna between the LNA and DMSC escalated last week following LNA airstrikes against the DMSC. On 29 July, the DMSC shot down an LNA MiG-23 fighter jet, and apprehended both the pilot and the co-pilot. The LNA announced a return to full fledged siege, and shut down all routes into Derna in reprisal. The latest escalation is reportedly the result of a tightening military and social noose around the DMSC.
On 23 July, a new video was released of notorious LNA senior commander Mahmoud al-Werfalli directing the execution of 18 prisoners of war believed to belong to ISIS. The video followed a UN request for the LNA to investigate the summary executions of prisoners and other human rights issues. GNA PM Fayez Serraj condemned the fatwa against Ibadi Muslims that was issued by the Awqaf and is supported by the Islamic affairs authority affiliated with the Beida-based interim government.
Skirmishes between Pro-GNA and hardliner militias in Tripoli continued this week, ending as the GNA-aligned militias successfully ousted hardliner militias from their positions in eastern Tripoli. Pro-GNA militias reported the loss of 10 fighters in the three-day battle.
On 5 July, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar declared that the LNA had fully liberated Benghazi from the coalition of jihadists including the Benghazi Revolutionary BRSC, Ansar al-Sharia and ISIS. On 9 July, the HCF which belongs to the HoR parallel government in eastern Libya, issued a takfiri fatwa declaring that followers of Ibadism are infidels.
The remaining jihadists in Benghazi are now boxed into a 2 square kilometre area in Sabri, with a declaration of victory expected soon. However, more than 25 LNA fighters were killed during fighting in the last few days. In Tripoli, there are calls to establish a Tripoli Revolutionary Shura Council.
The BDB announced it will dissolve itself and that some members will enlist in the formation of a legitimate Libyan army. The Libyan National Army (LNA) fully retook the Souq al-Hout area and the main central square in Benghazi. The Grand Mufti, calls for hard-liner Islamist factions and revolutionaries to reassemble and save a ‘dying’ revolution.
On 13 June, the LNA fully seized Benghazi’s iconic Tahrir Square and the courthouse that faces it, while on 16 June, LNA squads announced their full takeover of Misrata Street and the Wahda Bank main office. At least 6 LNA fighters were killed and more injured during the operations. Most BRSC social media outlets also acknowledged setbacks last week.
A variety of Misratan entities united against the BDB last week, banning them from entering Misrata armed and demanding they surrender weapons and handover their leader. Werfalli published another execution video, while the LNA seized the Libya Shield base in Souq al-Hout.
On 2 June, fierce clashes took place in Derna between the LNA and DMSC, resulting in the death of 2 DMSC fighters. A LNA Naval Commander was killed in IED blast in Sabri last week, as LNA units make slow advances.
On 27 May, Ansar al-Sharia (AS) officially announced that it had disbanded itself. Interestingly, pro-ISIS media accounts celebrated AS’s disbanding as ‘inevitable’ and criticized the group for failing to unify its loyalties under the ISIS banner.
Several videos released this week appear to indicate links between the BDB and jihadist groups in Brak al-Shatti. The LNA retook Souq al-Arab in downtown Sabri on 18 May, while Werfalli released another execution video.
LNA forces continued to launch heavy airstrikes against jihadist fighters besieged in Sabri and Souq al-Hout in Benghazi last week. Saiqa commander Mahmoud Werfalli announces his resignation after a Saiqa attack on a police station caused outrage.
On 8 May, the LNA launched its full assault against the jihadist enclaves and LNA fighters have reportedly taken Benghazi port and a number of areas in Souq al-Hout. A medical source said hospitals had received 12 LNA dead and 20 wounded since the new offensive began.
Jihadists in Benghazi counter multiple LNA airstrikes with demolitions targeting infrastructure. Wissam Bin Hamid, the BRSC leader rumored to have been killed in 2016, appeals to his followers via video on 29 April.
The LNA hit Sabri and Souq al-Hout with airstrikes, while jihadists blew up a bridge into the area and began shelling LNA positions. The LNA arrested a DMSC leader along with an ISIS fighter in Derna.
Southern Libya Shield forces led by Islamist commander Ahmed Abdul Jalil Al-Hasnawi, and militias affiliated with, the pretender and jihadi-aligned PM Khalifa Al-Ghwell, have joined GNA-affiliated forces in the fight against the LNA in Southern Libya.