Al-Zubi’s Tweet in Defence of Bashagha Draws Criticism – Al Marsad

The Commander of “301 Battalion”, Abdel Salam Al-Zubi, sought to muffle open criticism of the Interior Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA), Fathi Bashagha.

(Libya, 10 December 2020) – A tweet by Abdalsalam Al-Zubi implicitly calling for an end to the criticism of the Interior Minister of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) Fathi Bashagha has drawn wide criticism.

“Describing the Interior minister with vulgar phrases only represents the person who said it and it returns to him,” reads Al-Zubi’s tweet in Arabic.

According to commentators on his account, Al-Zubi’s tweet was aimed at the President of Quilliam Foundation, Noman Benotman, who described Bashagha as “cyclist”, as he is known among the Libyan circles. Bashagha earned the moniker for his experience in the tyre trade prior to entering the post-2011 politics.

“The minister is a human who could hit or miss. Give him advice in a confidential manner, but not by false pretense, especially when the accuser is like mercury, jumps here and ranks there. Be a wise and sensible man. Your horns are softer than the minister’s mountain,” reads another Al-Zubi tweet, implicitly referring to Benotman.


Al-Zubi’s tweet has sparked a wave of criticism and accusations of bias and lack of competence. Some consider that his closeness to Bashagha explains his lenient approach towards him in spite of Bashagha fighting the rest of the armed groups in Tripoli.

Bashagha seems to ignore Al-Zubi’s actions despite constant complaints by citizens of humiliation for being subjected to pay protection money to militias. Accusations are rife about militias forcing wholesale shops in El-Karimia and its surroundings to pay protection money.


Last February, Bashagha launched a verbal onslaught on what he called “the corrupt Tripoli militias”, and praised “the good groups”. And immediately after his tirade, Bashagha visited Al-Zubi in south Tripoli.

These events lead commentators to speculate that Al-Zubi may have gotten a good conduct certificate Bashagha and is therefore shielded from any criticism.

Media reports confirmed that Faheem bin Ramadan, a trusted Al-Zubi lieutenant, accompanied Bashagha during his visit to Cairo.

© AlMarsad English (2020)