The Defense Department has confirmed that Boubaker al-Hakim, a French-Tunisian Islamic State leader, was killed in Raqqa, Syria on Nov. 26. Al-Hakim had ties to Ansar al Sharia Tunisia, an al Qaeda-affiliated group, before defecting to the Islamic State’s cause. He admittedly assassinated one Tunisian politician in 2013 and knew the assailants responsible for a second slaying.
Mohammed al Zawahiri, the younger brother of al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri, was released from an Egyptian prison earlier this week. He was imprisoned in Egypt in 1999, but released following the uprisings in 2011. He quickly became a prolific advocate for al Qaeda’s jihadist ideology. Along with other al Qaeda-linked jihadists, he helped orchestrate the protest outside the US Embassy in Cairo on Sept. 11, 2012.
Libya’s air force confirmed that a jet was shot down by anti-aircraft fire earlier today. Ansar al Sharia Libya, which says its fighters were responsible, openly promotes al Qaeda ideologues in its propaganda.
More than three years after the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, Ansar al Sharia tells its followers to learn from the teachings of slain al Qaeda ideologues. The group’s radio station regularly broadcasts lectures by al Qaeda leaders who have been killed in US airstrikes.
AQIM has released a eulogy for Hamid al Sha’iri, who led a “squadron” in Libya. Al Sha’iri and his men were traveling from Derna to Benghazi to fight General Khalifa Haftar’s forces when they were ambushed.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has released a eulogy for Mansur al Shalali (aka “Harun”), the slain military commander of Ansar al Sharia in Libya. AQIM notes that Shalali fought for several years in Algeria. The eulogy further underscores the tight relationship between AQIM and Ansar al Sharia Libya.
Ansar al Sharia, which is now led by a jihadist known as Abu Khalid al Madani, continues to battle General Khalifa Haftar’s forces. Contrary to erroneous accounts, the group has not sworn allegiance to the Islamic State.
Before his own death on Jan. 31, Harith al Nadhari, a senior AQAP sharia official, recorded an audio eulogy for the leader of Ansar al Sharia Libya, Mohammed al Zahawi. Nadhari noted that Zahawi had met with Osama bin Laden in the mid-1990s.
Jihadists have posted a photo on Twitter that allegedly shows Mohamed al Zahawi, the leader of Ansar al Sharia in Benghazi, after his death. Earlier, Zahawi’s family had told the press that he passed away from wounds he received during fighting last year.
The United Nations has added the Ansar al Sharia chapters in Benghazi and Derna to its al Qaeda sanctions list, explicitly recognizing their ties to each other, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and other al Qaeda-linked groups.
The Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council, an umbrella group that includes the al Qaeda-affiliated Ansar al Sharia, has launched a coordinated attack on forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar.
In a court filing earlier this week, the US government argued that the only suspect in custody for the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya should remain in pretrial detention. Prosecutors cited his “extensive contacts” with senior members of other jihadist organizations and plans for additional attacks as reasons to keep him behind bars as he awaits trial.
A newly released report by the Senate Intelligence Committee notes that terrorists “affiliated” with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the Muhammad Jamal Network, and Ansar al Sharia took part in the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.
The State Department has designated three Ansar al Sharia organizations. Two of them were involved in the Sept. 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya and the third was involved in the Sept. 14, 2012 assault on the US Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia. The State Department says Ansar al Sharia Tunisia is “tied” to al Qaeda’s affiliates, including al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
More than one year after the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, a former Guantanamo detainee remains a key suspect.
Left out of the Times‘ account of the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the US mission in Benghazi are the many leads tying the attackers to al Qaeda’s international network.
Abu Abdullah al Libi fought against US forces in Iraq, the Ghaddafi regime in Libya, and against Bashir al Assad’s regime before being killed in Syria in September.
For the past few days, Ansar al Sharia has been battling Libyan security forces in the city of Benghazi. More than one year after the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the US mission, the al Qaeda-linked Ansar al Sharia remains a potent force.
According to Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim, some of those arrested have ties to al Qaeda-linked groups as well as Gaza-based terror groups.
Testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on al Qaeda’s network in Africa and the threat it poses to the US
The Tunisian government blamed Ansar al Sharia for a failed suicide bombing and an additional planned suicide attack last week.
Ansar al Sharia Libya has a new Twitter feed. In recent days, the group also showcased its first open event in the city of Derna.
Ansar al Sharia Libya has issued a statement saying “we must seek to release the captive brother” Abu Anas al Libi, who was seized by US forces on Oct. 5.