The Address | Benghazi – Libya
TRIPOLI – Nawasi Brigade, which is one of the most heavily armed militias and among the largest armed military groups in Tripoli, is led by pro-Jihadism Islamists.
The Address sources from inside Nawasi Brigade confirmed that the brigade recently began recruiting members of the Derna Mujahideen Shura Council, who fled Derna after LNA fully controlled the city in late June. DMSC is a coalition of extremist Islamist militias that advocate the implementation of Sharia law within Libya and take instructions from Ayman al-Zawahiri, the current leader of Al-Qaeda.
An armed motorcade belonging to Derna Mujahideen Shura Council, October 2014
The Nawasi Brigade, which consists of more than 700 members, operates from its headquarters in Abusetta area in Tripoli. Only less than 100 meters separate Nawasi Brigade HQ from Abusetta Marine Base, where the UN-backed Presidential Councils is based. The brigade arranges multiple checkpoints and regular patrols in the area, including a check-point near Libyana Company, the biggest mobile operator in Libya. All these logistic areas within the reach of the brigade enabled it from playing an important role in the Tripoli military scene.
Nawasi Brigade, Abusetta Base & PC HQs in Tripoli, Libya
The Nawasi is led by Mustafa Qaddur, a well-known militant and the cousin of Hafed Qaddur, the former governor of Central Bank of Libya.
The Nawasi Brigade also received documentary credits issued by the CBL, which represent a major source of fund for the brigade activities.
The Nawasi members receive high salaries from the GNA as it is considered the eighth force under the Ministry of the Interior led by Abdul Salam Ashour. This contradicts the Libyan Political Agreement, from which GNA claims legitimacy. LPA states that GNA should arrange for “the withdrawal of armed formations from cities, residential areas and critical infrastructure installations.”