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Libyan jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia may soon be added to the United Nations Security Council’s terror list.
If approved, the policy would take effect November 19th.
Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi and Ansar al-Sharia Derna would then be hit by global visa bans, asset freezes and arms embargos.
Twelve of the 24 jihadists who attacked Algeria’s In Amenas gas complex in 2013 trained at Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi, the sanctions proposal said.
The Islamist militia is already on the US terror list for its role in the September 2012 attack on the US mission in Benghazi that killed the US ambassador and three other Americans.
Nasser Houari, the head of the Human Rights Victims Organisation, said the move to classify Ansar al-Sharia as a terrorist group was “good, although it was very late”.
“It will help put an end to the group and dry up its sources. It will also give momentum to Operation Dignity,” Houari said.
Political activist Mourad Belal echoed the sentiment: “The decision will significantly help dry up the sources of terrorist support, and will also delegitimise those groups at the Libyan street.”
“The decision must be supported by internal, regional and international co-operation to contain repercussions by denouncing such groups, supporting state institutions and spreading alternative awareness by undermining the foundations of takfirist ideology and encouraging Muslim societies to benefit from democracy without losing their own identity,” he told Magharebia.
“Ignorance and poverty are the pillars of mobilisation for extremist ideology, and by addressing them and enacting deterrent laws, the phenomenon can be contained and finally eliminated,” he concluded.
Journalist Leila Maghrebi also told Magharebia that she thought the request to label Ansar al-Sharia a terror group was “a bit late”, noting that the organisation has “assassinated more than 600 officers and soldiers, and several rights activists”.
“It has also issued statements accusing the state and democratic government of kufr and threatening force against them,” she said.
“Such a decision will help the state, as represented by the Libyan parliament and government, seek international assistance in eliminating that terrorist organisation, especially as terrorism is now threatening the entire area from North Africa to southern Europe,” she added.
Maghrebi went on to suggest that the terrorist label could make families urge their sons to abandon the organisation.
“The group is exploiting and recruiting young men to carry out suicide terrorist operations, taking aantage of their naivety and seducing them with money. This issue needs to be carefully addressed by the international community due to its danger,” she said.
“Here I want to point out that the international community can help by arresting the leaders of that organisation, especially as they have two previous records in Libya,” she concluded.
Abdellatif Mohamed, a teacher, told Magharebia: “It’s been three years since the revolution and the country is swimming in chaos. Enough! We want Libya to be without militias and groups that wrongfully claim to be Islamic. Enough destruction! We want to build our country and follow in the footsteps of aanced nations.”
Source : Magharebia