Mohamed Niss

Mohamed Niss

Still on the Loose: Libya’s Most Dangerous Jihadists - Part II
Friday, August 17, 2018

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Islamic State fighter

A known Islamic State fighter from the eastern city of Darnah was arrested on 9 February at a military checkpoint manned be members of the Libyan National Army (LNA) wearing women’s clothes and make up.

A video (below) was circulated online on Friday featuring the militant removing his burka and showing off his manicure to the camera while admitting his membership of the Islamic State .

Such disguise tactic might sound ridiculous, but security experts say it’s one of the most commonly used methods by jihadis living in areas under LNA control. The reason? Due to the conservative nature of the Libyan society, Jihadis know that cars with a woman sitting in the passenger or back seats are less likely to be stopped or searched at security checkpoints.

The man identified himself in the video as Sufyan Abd al-Rahim Atiyah al-Amenfi, 22, whom Libyan security sources said was born and raised in Darnah. He was known to local security sources as member of Ansar al-Sharia's Darnah branch which was founded in late 2011 by former Guantanamo inmate, Sufyan bin Qumu. In December 2014, he joined Islamic State's affiliate in Darnah as member of its ‘Islamic Police’ which was led by Nassib al-Qabsi (also known as Abu Dijanah).

In late 2015 when the Islamic State was driven from Darnah after losing a turf war to local al-Qaeda affiliates, Amnefi was captured by the Shura Mujahideen Council and subsequently detained for several months in the city’s Bishr prison.

On Friday, he was arrested at a checkpoint near Karsah, a small village on the coast road west of Darnah. Security sources said he was likely planning to make his way to the so-called ‘Deseret Army’, a term used to refer to a few dozens of Islamic State militants who managed to flee Benghazi and Sirte in late 2016 and are now believed to be roaming the desert between Sabha, Bani Walid and Sirte.