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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

New report ties Qatar and Muslim Brotherhood to Libyan rebel leader who supported ISIS

Members of Qatari group attended funeral of Benghazi militia chief

A member of forces loyal to Libya's eastern government carries his weapon during clashes with the Shura Council of Libyan Revolutionaries in Benghazi. Reuters
A member of forces loyal to Libya's eastern government carries his weapon during clashes with the Shura Council of Libyan Revolutionaries in Benghazi. Reuters

A new investigation has pinpointed links between members of a Qatari body, the Muslim Brotherhood and a slain Libyan rebel leader who supported ISIS.

Sky News Arabia revealed a video earlier this month that showed a funeral prayer for Wissam bin Humaid in Istanbul dated May 1. Humaid once appeared in a video in front of an ISIS flag voicing threats against the Libyan government.

Born and killed in battles for Benghazi, he served as a senior leader of the city’s Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries.

That group once fought alongside ISIS fighters in the eastern city against the Libyan National Army, the force led by military commander Khalifa Haftar.

The prayer recited at his funeral, held a year and a half after his death in Turkey, was spoken by Imam Salem Jaber, a member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars in Qatar, which has been designated as a terrorist group by the UAE for its links to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Also present at the Istanbul prayer was Wanis Al Mabrouk, a resident of Turkey. He is also a member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars in Qatar and is best known for a fiery statement about the Nato mission in Libya. He once, according to the report, said “this is one of the coalitions, which if the Prophet Mohammed had witnessed, he would have engaged with”.

In another video, this time in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, Sky News Arabia said those in attendance for the funeral prayer of Humaid were chanting ISIS slogans.

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A senior Muslim Brotherhood member based in Libya also mourned his death, a figure known as Abdel Razzak Al Arradi, according to the report.

The report goes on to detail how the Muslim Brotherhood and Qatar are both suspected of financing, arming and supporting the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries with the support of Turkey as a safe haven for injured members of the militia.

“Dangerous testimonies have been revealed during the Government Handover Ceremony in November, 2012 whereby the Muslim brotherhood said that they were supporting the fighters of Benghazi Shura Council and treating the wounded in Turkey,” an unnamed military official told the broadcaster.

It goes on to accuse prominent members of the recognised Libyan government who have previously expressed support for Al Qaeda of also providing funding to the rebel militia that aligned with ISIS in Benghazi. Observers say the power vacuum in the country has allowed former fighters to enter senior levels of authority in the country.

“Of course these extremists have assumed roles in authorities because of the political void,” said one source who refused to be named. “After Al Qaddafi, protective institutions ceased to exist. Authority used to be in the hand of one or a couple of leaders, but the balance has been distorted following the loss of a confined leadership.”

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