Gunmen Kidnap Libyan Muslim Brotherhood Leader


Reuters is reporting that unknown gunmen have kidnapped a leading member of a Libyan political party described as affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. According to the report:

June 30, 2014 TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Gunmen kidnapped a leading member of a Libyan Islamist party affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, a party spokesman said on Monday, in a further sign of lawlessness crippling the oil-producing country.

No group claimed responsibility for the abduction on Sunday night of Mohammed Hraizi. But kidnappings for political coercion have become increasingly common in Libya, where Islamists, brigades of former rebels, tribes and factional militias all compete for influence over the weak central government.

‘Dr. Hraizi was kidnapped last night on the airport road in Tripoli after evening prayers,’ Hussam Al-Naili of the Justice and Construction Party (JCP) told Reuters.

He quoted eyewitnesses as saying the abductors were driving military police vehicles and the JCP had not yet been contacted by the gang.

The JCP is the main Islamist party in Libya and vies for powerf with the more nationalist and secular National Forces Alliances.

Many Libyans hope that a new legislature, the House of Representatives, elected in a weakly attended ballot this month may be able to guide the state out of its current crisis and away from the influence of heavily armed militias.

Libya has struggled for three years with bands of former rebels who helped topple dictator Muammar Gaddafi with the support of NATO air strikes, and they remain influential players in Libya’s disordered democracy.”

The GMBDW reported earlier this month that Libyan militias tied to the Muslim Brotherhood had stormed the offices of the country’s prime minister. In May, the GMBDW recommended a new report on the current situation facing the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya which concluded that the Brotherhood organization does not have high levels of public support.

 Other GMBDW coverage of events in Libya has included:

  • The GMBDW reported in January 2014 that the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood has withdrawn its five ministers from the government of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan. 
  • The GMBDW reported in July 2013 that protestors had attacked the offices of the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood yesterday following demonstrations over the assassination of a prominent critic of the Brotherhood. 
  • In June 2013, Libyan lawmakers elected a Parliament chief strongly supported by the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, the Justice and Construction Party.
  • In July 2012, the Libyan Brotherhood suffered what appeared to be a major loss when they finished a distant second place in national elections.
  • In 2011, the New York Times reported on what they called  the “growing influence of Islamists in Libya”, identifying Qatari Muslim Brotherhood figure Ali Sallabi (aka Ali Salabi), already known to be the Revolution’s “spiritual leader and a close associate of Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, as well as for the first time Abel al-Rajazk Abu Hajar who was said to lead the Tripoli Municipal Governing Council and is described as a “Muslim Brotherhood figure.” Our predecessor publication had reported on Ali Sallabi and his association with Qaradawi.

For analysis and background on the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood, go here and here.

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