The main Islamic State force in Libya, the Battar brigade, has damned as infidels both the government in Beida and the Hassi regime in Tripoli as well as the House of Representatives, the General National Congress, everyone linked to them and virtually all the military bodies in country.
Battar, which is based in Derna, has been operating in Leithi and, according to unconfirmed reports, is now not only the most exteme but also the main Islamist force there, rather than Ansar Al-Sharia. There are also claims of a spectacular falling out between Battar and Ansar and that Ansar’s leader in Benghazi, Mohamed Al-Zahawi, was shot by Battar rather than being injured in an air raid. His death was confirmed last month.
Issuing a warning on Misrata though a media office not to interfere in what it was doing, Battar declared as infidels (kafir):
- Everyone connected to the former Qaddafi regime, including those who fought for it or worked with it;
- Khalifa Hafter, whom Battar called a “tyrant”, and all his forces;
- Ahmed Qaddaf-Adam and anyone connected to him;
- The Thinni government and the House of Representatives in Tobruk, and all the security forces operating under them, including the police and armed forces;
- The Hassi government in Tripoli and the General National Congress; and those working with them; and
- Anyone who supports democracy.
In its statement, Battar called on the LNA and other forces to ask for forgiveness from IS and warned that if forces whether from the Beida or Tripoli governments dared attack IS, they would be punished. If anyone in Misrata interfered in its operations, his head would end up on the entrance to the city, Battar warned.
It also claimed that it was now active in Beida and Tobruk and would soon reach Tripoli and Misrata.
In a remarkable assertion, Battar further alleged that it was IS that had fought againt the Qaddafi regime and killed him.
It was now going to spread Islam throughout the world, Battar claimed.