By Libya Herald staff.
Benghazi, 2 March 2015:
A Tunisian man was the suicide bomber who killed three people and wounded 20 others . . .[restrict]when he blew up his car in Benghazi’s Leithi district last month, the Islamic State (IS) has claimed.
A video posted by the Islamic State in Cyrenaica’s “media office” on its social networking page shows a man named as Abu Talha Al-Tunsi saying that he was going to be a suicide bomber. He was doing it for God and for the victory of IS, he claimed, but continuously threatening Tunisia. His action was, he further indicated, testimony of his loyalty to Abubakr Al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed IS caliph.
Abu Talha Al-Tunsi is clearly the nom de guerre given him by IS rather than his real name, but it strengthens suggestions that many IS fighters in Libya are Tunisian. One of the attackers on the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli at the end of January is also said to have been Tunisian. IS named him as Abu Ibraheem Al-Tunsi. Last week, the Beida government’s information chief, Omar Gawairi, claimed that there were now 4,000 Tunisian “terrorists” in Libya.
The video is the second purportedly from IS in Cyrenaica. The earlier one, posted over the weekend, was addressed to “soldiers of the tyrant”, a reference to Khalifa Hafter, head of Operation Dignity.
Showing three masked men in Laithi, at Khaleej Street, one points his finger to Buhdeima district, saying that the men there fighting with Operation Dignity were apostates and enemies and that they would kill them in various different ways.
The Libyan army were “enemies of God” the masked man said. “They will not enter Leithi, except as dead bodies,” he boasted. In fact, a significant portion of Leithi is now under LNA control.
Residents from the area have stated that IS is now the main fighting force there, rather than Ansar Al-Sharia. [/restrict]