Qatar-funded Libya groups on ter­ror list

Khaleej Times - - REGION -

wash­ing­ton — Mili­tias of the Libyan Mus­lim Brother­hood re­cently joined forces with US-des­ig­nated ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tions, par­tic­u­larly An­sar Al Sharia and Libya Dawn forces, fight­ing against the mil­i­tary forces of the in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised Libyan gov­ern­ment.

The move was taken un­der the Mus­lim Brother­hood Ter­ror­ist Des­ig­na­tion Act of 2015 bill of the US Congress, which also men­tions the role played by the Mus­lim Brother­hood groups in fi­nanc­ing ter­ror­ism in Libya.

A de­tailed in­for­ma­tion is avail­able on the col­lab­o­ra­tion among Qatar, the Mus­lim Brother­hood and var­i­ous Al Qaeda-af­fil­i­ated ter­ror out­fits in Libya. Ali Sal­labi, the top Libyan Mus­lim Brother­hood leader known for his close ties with the Qatari rul­ing fam­ily and Yousef Al Qar­dawi, was the man who fa­cil­i­tated the dis­tri­bu­tion of Qatari money and weapons among Libyan mili­tias.

An­sar Al Sharia, an amor­phous group of rad­i­cal mili­tias re­spon­si­ble for the death of the US Am­bas­sador to Libya, is closely linked to the Beng­hazi De­fence Bri­gades (BDB). One of the top lead­ers of BDB was Is­mail Sal­labi, a brother of Ali Sal­labi. It is worth not­ing that BDB dis­banded it­self two days ago af­ter both the Sal­labi brothers fig­ured in a list of 59 ter­ror sup­port­ers re­leased by the Arab coun­tries.

Ali Sal­labi played a lead­ing role dur­ing the rule of Muam­mar Gaddafi in get­ting many mem­bers of the Al Qaeda-af­fil­i­ated Libyan Is­lamic Fight­ing Group re­leased from prison thanks to close re­la­tion­ship be­tween the Qatar and Gaddafi regimes. The re­leased pris­on­ers in­cluded Is­mail Sal­labi. The Libyan Is­lamic Fight­ing Group was des­ig­nated ter­ror­ist by both the UN and the US. Its com­man­der Ab­del Hakim Bel­hadj and Ali Sal­labi are as closely linked to each other as both are to Qatar. Ra­madan Abedi, father of Sal­man Abedi, one of the men be­hind the re­cent Manch­ester ter­ror at­tacks, was a mem­ber of Libyan Is­lamic Fight­ing Group.

Ali Sal­labi is a close dis­ci­ple and stu­dent of Yousef Al Qar­dawi and is con­sid­ered very close to the Qatari rul­ing fam­ily. Much of Doha’s aid to the Libyan mili­tias has been fun­nelled through Ali Sal­labi.

He has been a key con­duit of Qatari arms ship­ments to mil­i­tants in Libya since 2011, ac­cord­ing to western and Arab diplo­mats. It is the gen­er­ous money and weapons ship­ments from Qatar that strength­ened Libyan mili­tias over the past years, un­til this nexus be­gan to be ques­tioned and ex­posed in­ter­na­tion­ally.

Qatar was also sup­ply­ing money and weapons to a num­ber of other mili­tias, such as Op­er­a­tion Dawn. Libya Dawn is a mil­i­tary coali­tion op­posed to Gen­eral Haf­tar.

The Libya Shields Beng­hazi branch, a group linked to Libya Dawn, was led by prom­i­nent Mus­lim Brother­hood leader Wis­sam bin Hamid.

Wis­sam, who is no more, was also a field com­man­der of the Shura Coun­cil of Beng­hazi Rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies and a part­ner with An­sar Al Sharia.

All these groups have one thing in com­mon: Close links to the Mus­lim Brother­hood and gen­er­ous sup­port from Qatar.

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