LNA claims to have arrested al-Qaeda suspect in South-West

Sep 3, 2021 | Other Jihadi Actors

On 3 September, the LNA-aligned Tariq Bin Ziyad Brigade (TBZ Brigade) arrested a suspected al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) operative, al-Ajili Ali al-Ajili al-Hasnawi, near Brak al-Shati in southwestern Libya. Ajili was reportedly responsible for arms and ammunition transfers to terrorist organisations in Mali, Jabal al-Abyad (Sinai Peninsula), Algeria, and Tunisia. The Spokesperson for the LNA, Ahmed al-Mismari, said that the TBZ Brigade had been monitoring Ajili’s movements and gathering intelligence about the weapons in his possession. Ajili was captured with weapons on his possession including a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) of Czech origin. Local sources have denied Ajili’s terrorist affiliations, with members of the al-Hasawna tribe issuing a statement condemning the LNA for its unlawful arrest of an innocent civilian, insisting that Ajili had been involved in Operation Bunyan al-Marsous (BAM) in its defeat of ISIS in Sirte in 2016. The tribe accused the LNA of spreading misleading information about terrorism in southern Libya to justify its own military activity in the region. Other sources claimed that Ajili’s arrest is designed to blackmail his uncle, Mohammed Ajili, a member of the Libya Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) and fierce opponent of the potential presidency of the head of the LNA Khalifa Haftar.