Cairo – Libyan interim government, led by Abdullah al-Thani and the Libyan National Army led by Marshal Khalifa Hafter welcomed the four Arab states’ decision to add nine entities and nine individuals to the terrorist list linked to Qatar.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, and Bahrain issued a list of 59 names and 12 entities linked to Qatar on charges of extremism and terrorism. The new regulation added new entities including six Libyans: Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries, al-Saraya Media Center, Boshra News Agency, Rafallah al-Sahati Battalion, Nabaa Channel, al-Tanasuh Foundation for Dawa, Culture and Media, as well as two Libyans Ibrahim Bukhzim and Ahmed al-Hasnawi.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Libyan interim government has confirmed the accuracy of the new terror designation.
In its statement issued on Tuesday, the ministry expressed appreciation to the four countries for working to fulfill the aspirations of the Libyan people and mitigating the risks posed by groups and individuals who support terrorism in Libya.
The ministry declared that the new list “meets the aspirations of the Libyan people, which were clearly expressed through the 2012 and 2014 parliamentary elections.”
“Such brave decisions strengthen the Arab security, in the face of Qatar’s obstinacy,” the ministry said.
The ministry called upon the international community and organizations to unite and cooperate against those entities and those who support them, primarily Qatar.
The foreign statement accused Doha of providing funds and weapons to the terrorists named in the two lists, adding that it is ready to provide documents and video tapes showing the extent of Qatar’s involvement with those terrorists in Libya.
For its part, the Libyan army thanked the four countries that listed Libyan individuals and entities on terrorist lists.
“We would like to emphasize that all names and entities should be added to the list of the Parliament. We also call on other countries to be aware of their dangers to the world. In addition, several parties are the political wings of these groups and some of their commercial entities, and therefore they should be considered and added to the lists of terrorism as well,” explained the army in its statement.
Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council, mentioned on the terror list, was formed in eastern Libya in mid-2014 as a coalition of terrorist militias that included the UN and US sanctioned Ansar al-Sharia Benghazi and the Rafallah Sahati Battalion.
Ismail Mohammed al-Sallabi, commander in the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council, was mentioned by the four countries calling for combating terrorism in June 2017. Sallabi received Qatari financial and military support during the Libyan revolution.
In 2015 and until early 2016, the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council fought alongside the Libyan branch of ISIS, according to the UN and statements by the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council’s leadership.
Among the Libyan organizations that have been included in the new list is the Rafallah al-Sahati Battalion, which is affiliated with the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council. It is also led by Sallabi.
In addition, Boshra News Agency, the official media outlet of the Benghazi Defense Brigades in Libya, was included in the terrorist list.
Benghazi Defense Brigades in Libya is a terrorist militia designated by the four countries calling for combating terrorism in June 2017.
Boshra News Agency published the founding statement of Benghazi Defense Brigades that featured Benghazi Defense Brigades leader Sallabi.
Nabaa TV Channel is a Libyan media outlet controlled by Abd al-Hakim Belhaj, the former leader of al-Qaida’s Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) who is sanctioned by the four countries.
Nabaa is used by Belhaj and his associates to promote a terrorist ideology and agenda in Libya. Nabaa TV endorses attacks and activities of terrorist militias in Libya.
Another terrorist organization mentioned is Tanasuh Foundation for Dawa, Culture, and Media in Libya. It has been used by Benghazi Defense Brigades’ religious leader Sadiq al-Gharyani to endorse attacks and broadcast messages to, terrorist militants in Libya. Gharyani was sanctioned by the four countries calling for combating terrorism in June 2017.
As for the two terrorists mentioned, Ibrahim Bukhazim is a founder and leader of the Benghazi Defense Brigades in Libya. Bukhazim previously fought with militants in Iraq before returning to Libya to serve as a commander in Ansar al-Sharia and manage attacks by terrorist militants on Libyan oil facilities west of Benghazi. He was an associate of al-Qaida leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar.
The other Libyan national, Ahmed al-Hasnawi is a militia leader in southern Libya. Hasnawi provided logistical support to terrorist organizations including ISIS, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Ansar al-Dine in Mali, according to the UN.