In Tripoli, tensions between local militias and Islamist militias, which include the Benghazi Defence Brigades, bubbled to the surface last week. The most significant incident was the detention of an Islamist militia member linked to the former Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. Abu Al Yaqeen, who also works with the Islamist National Guard militia (which secures the high-profile Hadba prison in Tripoli for former Gaddafi regime personnel), was arrested in Tripoli after he was discovered with thousands of documents from the former regime’s intelligence services on Islamist activities. Significantly, Yaqeen has admitted that his son was one of the ISIS suicide bombers in Sidra in January 2016. The incident provoked the National Guard militia to retaliate by kidnapping a relative of one of the militia men responsible for Yaqeen’s kidnap. Another Islamist militia fighter from the prison was also kidnapped and brutally murdered. Grand Mufti Sadeq Al Ghariani has recently called for a new Libyan governance structure to be formed, demanding that Jihad be waged against Haftar’s LNA forces after victory is declared against ISIS in Sirte.
In south-western Benghazi, sporadic clashes between the LNA and jihadists in the Ganfuda and Guwarsha areas continued. The LNA used air support and a heavy artillery barrage against militant positions, while jihadists used mortars to hit a power unit in Benghazi’s Benina airport. In Derna, the LNA air force launched airstrikes on 26 September against Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC) positions in the Dahr Al Hamar area, south of the city. No other clashes were reported last week, but Derna remains under a partial siege by the LNA. In Misrata, inter-militia tensions were ramped up following the assassination of a hardliner Islamist leader (reportedly a former LIFG commander) in the city on 30 September.