Thursday, August 18, 2016

Militia group takes over Libyan unity government's intelligence headquarters

Two different sources report that Haitham Tajouri's militia, the Tripoli Revolutionaries' Brigade(TRB) attacked predominantly Misratan intelligence personnel associated with the UN-backed Government of National Accord.

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The Libya Herald reports that in early morning raids armoured cars and members of the TRB took over the intelligence headquarters in Fornaj, a building in Salahedding, a site in Ain Zara and intelligence offices at Mitiga Airport as well. It is thought the group want to arrest Sheikh Sadek Ghariani, Grand Mufti. Mohamed Nuh, the head of intelligence, from Mistrata is thought to be visiting Turkey.
There are unconfirmed reports that one person was killed in the attack on Fornaj. In Ain Zara three portable cabins used by intelligence officers came under heavy fire and all three were burned down. The militia also stormed apartments nearby seeking certain individuals. Although there are no precise figures, many intelligence personnel are said to have been seized. Apparently, the TRB had the support of some intelligence officers who see the intelligence system as being too much dominated by Misratans and Islamists.
Nuh is said to be close to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group(LIFG) and his appointment of Misratans to key positions has caused resentment among some of the intelligence establishment. The LIFG no longer exists as such but members are associated with Libya Shield apparently. Ghariani is the Grand Mufti and supports the Defend Benghazi Brigades. Posters had been appearing in Tripoli with a photo of Ghariani reading "No to the Muslim Brotherhood" and "Stop the bloodshed"".
For some reason, the Presidency Council of the Government of National Accord (GNA) has been silent about what is happening although it is an obviously serious attack on key elements within the GNA. Last week the same militia took over the health ministry building and there was no public reaction. It is not clear why Tajouri is acting in this way at this time. Last November, Tajouri briefly seized prime minister of the Salvation Government Khalifa Ghwell. At one time Tajouri said he favored the monarchy. He has been accused of murdering Gadaffi regime personnel in an illegal prison at his camp in Tajoura.
The Libya Observer report on the attack says that the TRB attacked the headquarters of General Intelligence Department (GID) in the Al-Firnaj area: “The armed brigade sent all the employees and workers in the headquarters out and then it attacked the Study Scholarships HQS, which is located next to the GID.” The report also noted that the same group had seized the Health Ministry headquarters in the same area the week before. Two weeks ago the same brigade took over the Ministry of Telecommunications. The Observer claims it unclear whether the PC knows about the incident. How could the GNA not know when one of their own ministries is occupied? It now has happened at least three times! The TRG is one of the largest armed groups in Tripoli. Obviously, the GNA lacks the most rudimentary control over security and almost no control of the actions of competing militia groups.


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