Al-Qadhafi family spokesman gives information on Al-Qaeda leaders in Libya
BBC Monitoring Middle East
December 28, 2012
An anti-Gaddafi fighter takes part in a demonstration in Benghazi June 7, 2012 to demand the application of Islamic law, or Sharia law, in Libya. REUTERS
Report by Kamal Zayit in Algeria: “An Al-Qadhafi Family Spokesperson Speaks Out Regarding the Presence of Al-Qaeda Leaders in Libya”
Basim al-Hashimi al-Sawl, spokesperson for the family of Colonel Mu`ammar al-Qadhafi, said that a number of commanders from the Al-Qaeda [Terrorist] Organization [Al-Qaeda] are in Libya. Some of them move around fearlessly, without anyone holding them accountable or even monitoring them, at a time when some of them are wanted internationally.
Al-Sawl added, in a telephone interview with Al-Quds al-Arabi, that Al-Qaeda elements were under persecution by the previous regime, and now they have come out in public, without being bothered by anybody`s questions. He pointed out that these people are led by Sufyan Bin-Qamu, leader of the Ansar Al-Shari`ah Brigade [Lit: Supporters of the Islamic Law Brigade] in Darnah [Libya]. He indicated that this person, Bin-Qamu, was the driver of Usamah Bin-Ladin, emir of Al-Qaeda, and is wanted internationally. Regarding the second man, Salim al-Barani Darbi, an activist in Al-Qaeda, he was captured by the former Libyan regime. Al-Sawl underlined that Darbi had been hiding in the mountains since 1996, and he has presently come out to lead the brigade of martyrs in Benghazi. Al-Sawl continued by saying that there is a video that shows Al-Barani telling the story of how the former regime used to persecute him.
The spokesperson for the Al-Qadhafi family underlined that the third name on the list was Abd-al-Basit Azuz, one of the fiercest members of Al-Qaeda, as well as one of smartest and most clever. He is the first adviser to Ayman al-Zawahiri, and field commander of the organization in Libya. Azuz is presently in the city of Darnah and he is responsible for bringing fighters from Afghanistan to Libya.
Al-Sawl believed that a number of these fighters were in Afghanistan and, after the fall of the Libyan regime, they returned. Similarly, this is the condition of Abd-al-Hakim al-Hisadi, member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). He is also from the city of Darnah. He left Libya in 1995 to establish himself in Afghanistan before returning to settle down in Libya.
The source himself explained that Miftah al-Dawudi, a former prisoner in Bu-Salim, was condemned for involvement with groups linked to Al-Qaeda in terrorist operations leading to the killing of Libyans in Eastern Libya. The source continued to explain that Al-Dawudi is one of the demagogue clerics in Libya, and that Al-Dawudi, who is originally from the city of Sabratah, is one of the high-ranking founders of the Fighting Islamic Group.
The spokesperson mentioned that Abd-al-Wahab Hasan Qayid is the brother of Abu-Bakr Hasan Qayid, who goes by and is known by his nickname Abu-Yahya, the second in command in Al-Qaedah. He added that Abd-al-Wahab Qayid was the undersecretary in the Ministry of Interior, as well as commander of the border guard and the forces guarding vital and strategic Libyan installations.
Al-Sawl insisted that there are other names like Mustafa Khalifah al-Sa`idi, who has a master`s in Islamic Studies from Pakistan, a member of Libyan Religious Scholars Authority, he is cooperative, a member of the Dar al-Ifta [Official Fatwa Body in Libya], an orator in a number of mosques in Tripoli, and he speaks at a number of inciting seminars and teaches. He is accused of being involved with Al-Qaeda. He was a prisoner in Bu-Salim from 2004 to 2010, until he was released on 20 August 2011 to assume the position of minister of what is called the care for the families of martyrs and missing.
Source: Al-Quds al-Arabi website, London, in Arabic 22 Dec 12
© 2012 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
Al-Qaeda Loyalists Stage Military Parade in Benghazi, Want Islamic Shari`ah
Al-Sharq al-Awsat Online
Monday, June 18, 2012
A man sits next to an anti-aircraft artillery weapon as hundreds of heavily armed Libyans from a `Pro Sharia` group demonstrate on June 7, 2012, in front of the courthouse in Benghazi, for the implementation of the Sharia Law across Libya. GETTY
Report by Khalid Mahmud from Cairo: “Libya: Al-Qaeda Supporters Parade Their Military Strength in Benghazi To Demand Implementation of Islamic Shari`ah; Election Commission Head Ignores Prospect of Postponing Elections; and Says Interest Limited to Contests”
Amid popular opposition and official silence by the Transitional National Council (TNC) and the provisional government, hundreds of Islamist militants staged a military parade in the Al-Tahrir Square, the key square in Benghazi, Libya`s second largest city, to display their power. They called for implementation of Islamic shar`ah and raised black flags, symbolizing the Al-Qaeda Organization. On the occasion of what they called the first gathering for championing Islamic shari`ah, approximately 300 gunmen, backed by military vehicles, tanks, mortars, and anti-aircraft gun, assembled on Benghazi Streets. They staged this unprecedented military demonstration amid total absence of army and police forces and the revolutionary squads affiliated with the TNC, which took over power since the fall of the regime of the late Col Mu`ammar al-Qadhafi`s and his death in October last year. Yet dozens of citizens and political activists, who were taken by surprise by this military parade, flocked to the Al-Tahrir Square and called on the Islamist militants to disperse and leave the square.
The Islamist gunmen, who called themselves “Ansar al-Shar`iah,” carried black flags as well as white flags with the motto “There is no God but Allah,” as well as other Islamic verses that the Al-Qaeda Organization usually uses. They also raised slogans stressing their refusal to refer to any term of reference other than the Islamic shar`ah,” and “to live under a government that only rules by the word of God.” They said that “democracy is a Western system that contradicts Islamic life.” Those militants came to the Al-Tahrir Square in dozens of four-wheel drive vehicles, carrying light-and medium- caliber weapons. They pitched tents and some of them delivered improvised speeches calling for implementation of the Islamic shar`ah and stressing that Libya`s new constitution should be based on the Islamic shar`ah.
The Libyan news agency quoted one of the supervisors of the gathering as saying that “a large number of those assembling in the Al-Tahrir Square came from various parts of Libya and from east and west of Benghazi, and that they would organize preaching programs to promote their demands until the advent of them holy month of Ramadan.”
There has been no official reaction by the TNC or the provisional government to the ramifications of this military parade in Benghazi just 10 days before the parliamentary election scheduled for 19 June throughout Libya to choose members of the general national congress.
Despite the controversy over the prospect of postponing the elections as a precaution against the possibility of contesting the candidates running in the elections, Nuri Khalifah al-Abbar, chairman of the Higher National Election Commission (HNEC), ignored this controversy. He said that currently HNEC`s most important preoccupation is the issue of the candidates` final lists and contests of the candidates. He pointed out that after the publication of the lists, those removed from the lists have a right to contest the decision at the court of first instance in all electoral constituencies throughout Libya. In an interview aired by the Libya Al-Wataniyah Channel the day before yesterday, he added that the most important issues that the HNEC is currently working on are the numerous arrangements for a program for training the supervisors of the electoral process. The HNEC, he said, is also preparing a special center for posting the results of the election on a three-stage integrated system, as well as an appropriate media center to handle the election results.
Al-Abbar said that the HNEC received the last files of the candidates lists the day before yesterday from the Integrity Committee, noting that these lists will be referred to the 13 electoral constituencies throughout Libya. He added that these constituencies will inform a candidate that he is rejected and that he has the right to contest the decision within 48 hours only. He said that the candidates have five days to contest a rejection decision (as published). After this period, the political entities have the right -- if a candidate on their lists is rejected, contested, or turned down by the Integrity Committee and by the court -- to replace him by a candidate from the alternative lists available to the Integrity Committee.
The HNEC`s operations room met in Tripoli for the first time yesterday and, according to official Libyan sources, discussed all details relating to the candidates and the logistical support for the polling centers in all electoral constituencies throughout Libya.
In another development, a Libyan security official said that a Libyan naval patrol yesterday seized three Italian fishing boats fishing illegally in Libya territorial waters off Bengasi. Muhammad al-Sha`iri, head of organization and administration in the Libyan Navy, said that three Italian fishing boats were seized, but said no word about the fate of the crew and whether or not they will be brought to justice. He just stressed Libya`s keenness on protecting the marine wealth along the Libyan coasts.
(Description of Source: London Al-Sharq al-Awsat Online in Arabic -- Website of influential London-based pan-Arab Saudi daily; editorial line reflects Saudi official stance; URL: http://www.asharqalawsat.com/)
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Russia: Libyan Transitional Council Seen `Led by People Close to Al-Qaeda`
Rossiyskaya Gazeta Online
Monday, September 5, 2011
Commentary by Yevgeniy Shestakov: “The West Will Be Sorry Over Al-Qadhafi. The Libyan Insurgents Are Now Led by People Close to Al-Qaeda”
Russia has recognized the Libyan Transitional National Council as the acting government.
A statement to this effect was issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry Thursday. The time allotted to al-Qadhafi to restore power by countries of the world community that had still been wavering has run out. There is no road back.
But judging by how events are developing in Libya, the West will yet come to regret more than once its participation in the overthrow of the previous regime. Especially when the honeymoon in its relations with the Transitional National Council reaches its logical conclusion. And this is not far off. Already today the leaders of this structure, which is extremely variegated in its composition and its views, are showing their “teeth”: They refused out of hand Britain`s request to hand over the terrorist al-Megrahi, who was responsible for blowing up a passenger airplane over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1998, and a request from the International Criminal Court. The latter had hoped to get hold of the ex-leader of Jamahiriya and his sons, against whom criminal proceedings have been instituted. But it received a refusal.
While these are only individual instances, developments in Libya, however, and most importantly, the figures who have taken control of the opposition`s armed detachments, are putting many experts on their guard. The word “Al-Qaeda” is heard more and more often on European television channels when talk turns to the past connections of the leaders of the Libyan forces fighting against al-Qadhafi. The banner of the revolution, which began under democratic slogans and appeals for freedom of assembly and a multiparty system, has gradually passed into the hands of radical Islamists. Under the Colonel, many of their leaders were in jail or had been exiled from the country. Now they have acquired an opportunity to take revenge. Moreover, to do so through the agency of those same Western politicians who are waging war with the supporters of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Iraq. The wolf, by dressing itself in sheep`s clothing, in the final analysis was able to deceive the shepherd. And now state-of-the-art French, British, and American weapons find themselves in the hands of the West`s most implacable opponents. They are still forced to hide their intentions to create an Islamic state “a la Taliban” in Libya. The advocates of these plans still need NATO`s help to finish off al-Qadhafi. Without this support, the civil war could drag on.
The radicals, who infiltrated the leadership of the Transitional National Council without particular difficulty, will come to power in a general election. But then they will establish their own ways. The West will not be able to do anything with such an expression of the people`s will. And Al-Qaeda will receive a convenient platform for blows against Europe, of the like of which it previously could not even dream.
In July, General Abdul Fatah Younis, one of the leaders of the Transitional Council, who was responsible for the insurgents` military operations, was shot dead by persons unknown. This man had in the past carried out military operations against the Islamists on al-Qadhafi`s orders. It is unknown who killed the high-ranking military leader. But something else is very well known: Soon after his death, Abdelhakim Belhadj, a man well known to anti-terrorism experts, became the military governor of Tripoli. He is one of the leaders of the Islamic Fighting Group, which is believed to be Al-Qaeda`s branch in Libya. This organization has been entered on the terrorism lists of the United Nations, the EU, and the United States. Now Belhadj and many of his comrades-in arms in the Islamic group are key figures in Libya`s new transitional council.
Is it any wonder that, during the recent arrest in Tripoli of the foreign minister in al-Qadhafi`s government, the insurgents shouted not “Hail the Revolution” but “Allah Akbar”? Or that the so-called Green Square in the center of the Libyan capital has been renamed th e Square of Martyrs? Incidentally, on one of the central streets of Teheran there is a Museum of Martyrs -- suicide bombers who blew themselves up in the war against the Infidel.
This kind of opposition will never enter into negotiations with al-Qadhafi. It will not stop at major bloodshed -- more important geopolitical and religious tasks are at stake. Already 50,000 people have been killed in Libya. The slaughter will continue irrespective of whether the insurgents manage to capture the former head of Jamahiriya. His third son, Saadi, stated on behalf of his father that he is prepared to surrender to the rebels if this would put an end to the bloodshed. But he asked for guarantees of safety. The answer given to him by the military governor of Tripoli Belhadj sounds highly ambiguous: “We guarantee good treatment in accordance with human rights and the rules of any Libyan.” In other words, Saadi was given no guarantees of safety. To stop the war is not in the interests of the Libyan Islamists, who need unconditional victory and the deaths of all supporters of the previous regime in order to establish total control over the country.
Unlike Saadi, the Colonel`s eldest son Saif al-Islam does not count on leniency, and is ready to defend Sirte, where, in his words, there are 20,000 supporters of al-Qadhafi. The capture of Sirte is, for the insurgents, led as they are by Islamists, an excellent opportunity to put an end to al-Qadhafi`s supporters with one blow, without having to subsequently chase them around the desert. So that the slaughter in Sirte will be terrible. But the West is not capable of stopping it with words and promises alone. And it will now be forced to watch the results of its “handiwork” from the sidelines.
(Description of Source: Moscow Rossiyskaya Gazeta Online in Russian -- Website of government daily newspaper; URL: http://rg.ru/)
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Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb Spokesman Says There Are Islamic Amirates in Libya
Saturday, April 16, 2011
E-mail interview with Al-Qaeda in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb Salah Abu-Muhammad, by Kamil al-Tawil, from London: “Al-Qaeda: We Have Amirates in Libya, and the Mujahidin Have No Links to the Transitional Council”
Al-Qaeda in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has claimed that it is present in Libya, and that there are “Islamic Amirates” being established in the areas in East Libya, which are under the control of the revolutionaries. AQIM launches a fierce attack on the Transitional National Council, describes it as “transitional infidel council, and criticizes the council`s seeking the help of forces of what AQIM describes as “crusaders.”
AQIM`s stance has come in a reply sent to Al-Hayah by AQIM`s media official, who is known as Salah Abu-Muhammad, in reply to questions Al-Hayah addressed to him via the E-mail.
The following is the text of the interview:
(Al-Tawil) What is AQIM`s stance toward NATO`s intervention on the side of the revolutionaries in Libya?
(Abu-Muhammad) Our stance is what has been expressed by the honorable Shaykh Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri, may God preserve him, look after him, guide his steps, make him victorious in life and in the afterlife, and make Paradise his final rest.
(Al-Tawil) In the light of the repeated claims about your obtaining weapons and surface-to-air missiles from the Libyan weapons depots, as reported recently by Algerian security officials and Chadian President Idris Debi, does Al-Qaeda have actual presence within Libya?
(Abu-Muhammad) Yes, and we also have Islamic Amirates. We are not afraid to announce this, because we are not criminals, and we only fear God Almighty. The weapons are to defend our honor and the honor of the Muslim nation, and to raise the banner of Islam. We are very proud to have Darna City Amirate, Benghazi City Amirate, Al-Bayda City Amirate, Al-Marj City Amirate, and Islamic Shahhat City Amirate. We take pride in particular in the Darn Amirate and its honorable Amir Shaykh Abd-al-Hakim, who together with his brethren have formed the Islamic Council of the city to rule according to God`s Shari`ah.
(Al-Tawil) Your stance toward foreign intervention in Libya comes at a critical moment when Al-Qadhafi`s regime nearly destroyed the revolutionaries after his forces reached the gates of Benghazi. Had it not been for the western intervention there would have been a massacre, and the revolutionaries would have perished. Do you not think that this foreign intervention is good?
(Abu-Muhammad) Dying honorably is the least of the faith, which is much better than seeking the help of the forces of the crusaders. Had the revolutionaries been a little more patient, the forces of the tyrant would have suffered their greatest calamity. We do not at all find the intervention to be good; it is the beginning of the war, as Afghanistan is an example on this.
I will explain our aims as a group with regard to the “transitional infidelity council,” the criminal “Mu`ammar al-Qadhafi,” and Satan`s coalition:” they are our target, they are our enemies, and we will vanquish them wherever they are.
Those who are fighting at the front lines (in Libya) are mujahidin for the sake of God, and they have no links to the transitional infidelity council that brought in the infidels, apart from a few of them who deliberately appear on the media organs, because they do not know anything other than stammering statements.
(Al-Tawil) What is the reason for the diminishing of your operations within Algeria, and transferring them to the coastal area only while focusing on the kidnapping of foreigners for ransom? Has the Algerian regime defeated you militarily?
(Abu-Muhammad) The tyrannical Algerian regime has not at all defeated us, and the fighting is continuing. The priority now is to fight on the side of our brethren in the land of (Umar) al-Mukhtar (Libya), and to push forward our martyrs and our lives for the sake of defending their honor and land, because they are Muslims.
(Al-Tawil) What stage has the issue of the French hostages you are detaining reached?
(Abu-Muhammad) Currently the negotiations over the ransom are taking place.
(Description of Source: London Al-Hayah Online in Arabic -- Website of influential Saudi-owned London pan-Arab daily. URL: http://www.daralhayat.com)
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