On 24 August, Government of National Unity (GNU) Prime Minister Abdul Hameed Dabaiba announced that a security operation carried out by the Special Deterrence Force (Rada) – formally now known as the ‘Deterrence Apparatus for Combatting Organized Crime and Terrorism’ – and the Rahbat al-Droua Brigade in Tajoura (in eastern Tripoli) on 22 August had led to the arrest of the person accused of masterminding the 2018 terrorist attacks in Tripoli. The suspect is named as Tarek Anwar Abdallah, nicknamed ‘Abu Issa.’ Dabaiba said he was the planner and leader of the Islamic State (ISIS) operations to bomb the High National Elections Commission (HNEC) in May 2018, the National Oil Corporation in September 2018, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in December 2018, all of which killed and injured several people.
Dabaiba stressed that the GNU has been seeking ‘to repair the structures of security and military institutions, to train their personnel, to rehabilitate their leaders, and to raise their competence’ in order improve the lives of citizens. He said that the GNU ‘opposes terrorism in all its forms and persecutes those who prove their involvement in crimes and such incidents against the Libyan people.’ He saluted the bravery of the security forces in completing this ‘heroic task with such precision and professionalism’ and reassured the victims’ families that they will not be forgotten.
Rada released a video showing Abu Issa confessing that he planned the terrorist attacks with his commanders in Sebha and confirming that he had pledged allegiance to ISIS in the ‘Emirate of Benghazi’ before the group left the city in 2017. Abu Issa recounted several details about the terrorist operations, including how they gathered the information to plan the attacks.
The following day, HNEC called for the punishment of those involved in the terrorist attack and expressed its appreciation for the efforts of the security services in bringing them to justice.