More terrorist fighters surface in Tripoli – Al Marsad

Libya, 29 May 2019 – After a two-year disappearance, terrorist Adel al-Rubaie, a member of the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shoura Council and on the Benghazi public prosecutor’s wanted list, has resurfaced in Tripoli this week. He has been photographed at one of the fronts in Tripoli, fighting on the side of the Government of National Accord (GNA). This is despite calls from European and international leaders for the GNA to have nothing to do with terrorists, wanted criminals or smugglers.

Adel al-Rubaie (right) with his brother (left)

Al-Rubaie was thought to have been killed during the fighting in central Benghazi two years ago. He had been a member of the banned Ansar al-Sharia group, classified by the UN as well as by the US and other countries as a terrorist organisation. It was linked to the 2012 killing at the US Benghazi mission of American ambassador Chris Stevens and three other US diplomatic staff. It became part of the Benghazi Revolutionary Shoura Council in 2014.

Rubaie has also been accused of numerous assassinations along with his brothers and cousins, several of them in Benghazi’s Ras Obeida and Salmani districts.

The fact that he is still alive also became apparent when he reactivated his Facebook page, publishing an obituary of his colleague, Salah al-Magsabi.

Adel al-Rubaie (left) with Salah al-Magsabi

Also on a wanted list, Al-Magsabi was killed in fighting on Saturday near Tripoli’s disused international airport and was buried at the Abu-Shyala cemetery in Misrata. From Tobruk, he had fled to Misrata from where his family originated. Notification of his death and funeral was posted on several social media sites close to Ansar al-Sharia.

Even before Operation Dignity started, Al-Rubaie was fighting against the army. He took part in the clashes in the Ras Obeida area of ​​Benghazi on 25 November 2013 against the Saiqa Special Forces when, after regrouping, Ansar manged to gain the upper hand there and elsewhere in the city. At the time, Ansar notoriously humiliated six Saiqa members, forcing them to crawl on their hands and knees in front of them, before sending them back to their unit. Two days later, Ansar killed three other Saiqa members.

After Operation Dignity was launched, Al-Rubaie along with his brothers and his cousins, including Faraj ​​al-Rubaie and Ramadan al-Rubaie, took part in the fighting against the armed forces in central Benghazi. He appeared in a number of videos in 2015 and 2016, threatening young people in Benghazi with slaughter and liquidation, describing it as an “awakening”.

Ramadhan al-Rubaie (left), killed in Benghazi in 2016

He did not bother to hide his extremist views; nor did his brother Faraj, a member of Ansar al-Sharia killed in June 2015.

This has led to questions being asked why he and other like-minded colleagues of his are fighting in the forces of a government which they consider tyrannical and infidel and controlled by Western infidels.

In 2017, he was slightly injured in the left hand. He left for Misrata but was reported to have been killed when a boat carrying a group of combatants was hit in an LNA airstrike.

Faraj al-Rubaie was a member of Ansar al-Sharia

As a result of confessions by a number of jihadi fighters captured in Benghazi, the security and prosecution services discovered the involvement of Al-Rubaie along with his brothers and cousins in the murders of a number of public figures and military activists. These included intelligence officer Col. Kamal Bazaza, killed on 7 December 2013 when an explosive device planted under his car blew up, and youth activists Sami El-Kwafi (17 years of age) and Tawfiq Ben Saud (18), both shot in the head.

The information about Al-Rubaie’s link to the Bazaza killing came from Nuri al-Obeidi, who carried it out as well as that in May 2014 of the editor of the Benghazi newspaper Burniq, Muftah Awad Buzid. Arrested in February 2015, he allegedly claimed the murder of Bazaza had been ordered by Ramadan Al-Rubaie, listed by the Saiqa Brigade at the time as a member of Ansar al-Sharia and living in Leithi district. When arrested, Obeidi allegedly said that he had been blackmailed by Ramadan into carrying out the killings.

In photos posted by Adel al-Rubaie on Facebook showing his participation in the Tripoli fighting, others said to be Misratans are also seen in unmarked vehicles belonging to the “Warrior” unit of the Samoud Brigade led by Salah Badi, currently fight for the GNA.

On the same day that Al-Magsabi was killed, the army lost three members of its youth support force from Zintan: Salem Massoud, Abdel-Nasser Oweidat and Abdelali al-Bashir.

Also killed that day in the clashes on Tripoli’s Airport Road was the Benghazi militant Mohamed Ben Dardaf, also known as Babur. He too had been fighting with the Samoud Brigade.

His name was on the list published earlier this year by the military prosecutor of a number of persons wanted in connection with the killing of US ambassador Stevens. He had been imprisoned in Abu Sleem jail by the Qaddafi regime for a short period of time because of his jihadi views. He was released in August 2011 following the arrival of the rebels in Tripoli. He was appointed in 2012 to oversee the file of Abu Sleem prisoners’ compensation. His uncle, Wissam Zaidi, also a former prisoner at Abu Sleem, was one of the founders of Ansar al-Sharia in Sirte and was also said to have been linked to the death of the US ambassador.

After the start of Operation Dignity, Ben Dardaf documented his relationship with Ansar al-Sharia and with other members of the Rafallah al-Sahati battalion and took part in fighting against the LNA before finally fleeing the city.

He moved to Misrata but the then fled to Ajilat following the US operation in October 2017 in which one of the suspects in the ambassador’s murder, Mustafa al-Imam, was seized in Misrata and flow to the US. Ben Dardaf subsequently went to Sabratha, and then finally to Tripoli.

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