Mohamed Niss

Mohamed Niss

Still on the Loose: Libya’s Most Dangerous Jihadists - Part II
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

More violence?

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More violence?
wissam bin ahmaid

A video posted today on Libyan Facebook pages contained concrete evidence that Wissam Bin Ahmaid, the military commander of the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council (BRSC), had a very close cooperation with the Islamic State during the war in Benghazi between the Libyan National Army (LNA) and Islamist militias including the BRSC and the Islamic State.

Wissam bin Ahmaid is seen in the video (below) leading a group of prominent BRSC commanders to a meeting with an Islamic State delegation led by Mahmoud al-Barassi, the emir of the Islamic State’s affiliate in Benghazi.

The two sides are heard in the video discussing how to work together to lay down mines and set booby traps in a residential area near the University of Benghazi. The discussion covered the distribution of tasks, mapped the areas and identified individuals from both sides who will set the booby traps.

At one point in the video, one of Islamic State’s delegation is heard referring to the LNA as “apostates”, the terror group’s preferred name for army and police members.

The distinctive voices of both Bin Ahmaid and Barassi are clearly heard in the video which should lay to rest previous allegations defending Bin Ahmaid as a “revolutionary fighter” rather than a terrorist.

The video is believed to date back to mid or late 2016. In January 2017, both the Islamic State and some fighters of BRSC’s Ansar al-Sharia have fled Benghazi after staging a breakout from Benghazi’s then besieged districts of Sabri and Ganfouda. Bin Ahmaid was killed a month before that by an LNA airstrike in Ganfouda, however, his family waited until April 2018 to announce his death in a televised press conference from Istanbul, Turkey.

Barassi’s fate is still unknown, but if the confessions of some detained Islamic State members were true, he is now leading the Islamic State remnants roaming the desert areas between Bani Walid and Ajdabiya. As for Bin Ahmaid, while his affiliation with Ansar al-Sharia is indisputable, this new revelation could support the claim of some terrorism experts that he had joined the Islamic State during his last days in Ganfouda.

Wissam bin Ahmaid with Mohammed al-Zahawi, the late emir of Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi. Photos: Facebook

 

Old photos of Mahmoud al-Barassi, founder of the Islamic State branch in Benghazi, when he was still a member of Ansar al-Sharia