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LNA kills Abu Talha al-Libi, a founder of al-Nusra Front in Syria… Who is he?

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

SABHA – On Friday, the Libyan National Army (LNA) killed Abdel Moneim Salem Khalifa Belhadj, one of the most prominent terrorist leaders, known as Abu Talha al-Libi and Abu Talha al-Hasnawi.

“Abu Talha al-Libi” was killed along with other extremists, including an Egyptian after raiding a house he lived with a number of militants in Al-Qarada al-Shati town south of Sabha in a special operation at dawn on Friday.

Abu Talha al-Libi was born in Sabha in 1971 and was captured by the Libyan security services in 1996 along with another group of extremists when they tried to assassinate Moamer Kadhafi in the town of Brak al-Shati.

After his participation in 2011 events of February 17 revolution, his name emerged again and became one of the most prominent leaders of the terrorist groups in southern Libya.

He then received support from the National General Conference (parliament elected in 2012), specifically the National Defense and Security Committee, headed by Abdulwahab al-Qaid, who is affiliated to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG).

In 2013, Abu Talha left for Syria, where he was appointed as the “Sharia official of the Immigrants Battalion” which is formed of foreign elements who fought against the Syrian regime.

He founded, with others, “Al-Nusra Front”, loyal to Al Qaeda, and then returned to the Shati town in Southern Libya accompanied by his Syrian wife after LNA launched the Dignity Operation against terrorist groups in 2014 in Libya.

Abu Talha established an armed entity known as Al-Hasawna Shura Council in Shati, in the style of the so-called “Shura Councils of Benghazi, Derna and Ajdabia” led by elements of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and Al-Qaeda.

Before his return to Libya in 2014, Baghdad announced the killing of “Abu Talha” in confrontations with the Iraqi army in central Iraq, but his reappearance in southern Libya refuted what was announced by Iraq.

Abu Talha has strong relations with al-Qaeda leaders in the Maghreb. He oversees the weapons supply line to “Benghazi Shura Council”. He travels through the cities of Jafra, Sabha, Obari and Misurata to buy cars and weapons from the black market with attractive sums of money in cooperation with someone called “Anwar Sawan.”

During that period, the dignitaries of the Hasawneh tribe, which lives in al-Shati town, sensed the danger as a result of an attempt from Abu Talha to attract a number of its unemployed youth, including teenagers, to its new armed formation.

Sources confirmed that the elders of the tribe and the parents of these young people exerted social and tribal pressure being aware of the danger of this person and the formation of ideologized military entities that may immerse the name of their town in dispensable problems, and they succeeded in persuading dozens of young people to leave Abu Talha.

In 2016, unknown air strikes targeted three houses in the Qaradah al-Shati town, none of which was actually owned by Abu Talha. Two of them were tenants of citizens who had nothing to do with any extremist organization or armed group and lived outside the area, Mansour Ghwail and Hamad al-Ghawail.

These attacks resulted in the deaths of eight people who were then transferred by armed groups to an unknown destination.

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