Audio files captured from IS fighters in Libya reveal plots to assassinate rival Islamist leaders in Benghazi:
In the eastern city of Dèrna, the militant group IS have been largely expelled by rival Islamists in the Shura Council of Dernawi Mujahideens (MSMD) – IS are now confined to small areas of Al-Fata’eh region and similarly small areas in Sahel Al-Sharqi. The MSMD launched a huge offensive in June this year after the IS militant group had killed a senior figure in MSMD. The offensive also lead to several findings, for instance, MSMD managed to recover millions of Libyan dinar that was stolen by the IS militant group during their presence in the city, findings of stolen medicine from the central hospital in Dèrna also took place and simiarly stolen weapons from another Libyan Islamist brigade was documented – but among the more insightful and interesting findings were the recently published audio files by MSMD, uncovering a lot of secrets about the Islamic State’s plans in Libya with regards to other rival Islamists and Jihadists in Benghazi and Dêrna.
In one of the audio files released by the MSMD, an IS militant first threatens MSMD with slaughter and claims that he possesses a Fatwa by Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi that allows him to take the wives of MSMD fighters as slaves – he goes on to call them apostates and infidels. In the second part of the released file, another militant, supposedly Tunisian who claims that he is in Sirte, a stronghold of IS, threatens MSMD: “by Allah we will not come to you with nothing but slaughter oh you apostates, for us you are not Muslims so between you and us there is nothing but slaughter”.
This is not necessarily something now as its no secret that IS declares MSMD to be apostates, but nevertheless its quite insightful that Baghdadi’s connection to the Libyan IS branch might be closer than thought for him to be sending Fatwa’s to them.
Listen to the audio clip below:
A more intriguing issue is another sound-clip, which was released by MSMD affiliated figures online. A sound clip found in an IS militant’s phone who was killed by MSMD called Abu Muhammed Al-Ansari on the messaging-app Telegram.
In the audio-clip Abu Muhammad is in correspondence with another militant named Abu Hafs, reportedly situated in Benghazi – Abu Muhammad requests from Abu Hafs to assassinate the two leaders in Shura Council of Revolutionaries in Benghazi (SCBR), Wesam Ben Humeid & Jelâl Makhzum, in order to avoid the same scenario that took place in Dêrna where the MSMD managed to largely repel IS from the city. Furthermore Abu Muhammed requests that the Jihadist group Ansar Al-Sharia is overrun and to take control over it so as to make sure that Anti-IS elements don’t prevail.
Listen to the audio clip below:
A lot of outrage was also sensed from IS-supporters over the Shura Council of Benghazi commander Muhamed Drissi who in a speech, commemorating the Eid Al-Adha, angered IS fans by saying that the constitution of the Libyan state should be Sharia – thus not recognizing the self-declared IS-caliphate.
One could argue that the image IS tried before to paint regarding its relationship with the Shura Council Benghazi is fading away, ties with GNC and rifts with top Shura Council figures is destroying that vision.