By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 26 November 2015:
Sheikh Sadik Ghariani has accused the members of the Rada (“deterrence”) forces who yesterday morning . . .[restrict]arrested the head of the religious endowments (awqaf) ministry’s Tripoli office, Mohamed Atkitek, of being bandits and criminals.
In his Al-Tanasah TV station, Ghariani, still viewed by the authorities in Tripoli as Libya’s grand mufti, demanded Rada’s leaders release him, describing those who arrested him as “working against God’s wishes”.
While praising Rada operations against drug dealers, Ghariani said that the organisation, led by Abdul Raouf Kara, had to rid itself of those of its members who were criminals.
For its part Rada yesterday claimed that Atkitek was not arrested, that he was “invited” in for questioning, that he came and then left.
However, a video of his arrest told a different story, with him being forcibly abducted by armed men from his office. Moreover, it appears he is still being held and, according to source, faces changes of conspiring to send young people to fight with the Islamic State (IS) organisation in Sirte.
Rada has also now published two videos suggesting the Tripoli Awqaf office is, at best, being mismanaged and, at worst, actively colluding with IS.
The first shows the confession an Egyptian allegedly arrested at Mitiga airport coming back from Ghana. The 48-year-old man, who is said to work at a factory in Sorman, says he was sent to Ghana by Atkitek’s deputy on a paid two-week mission to the west African country to try and convert people to Islam. However, he also admits that he has had no training as an Islamic scholar and had not studied the Sharia.
In the second video, a youth who said he was 14 years old but born in 2002, (which would make him 13 at most) claimed that a preacher at a mosque in Tripoli’s Omar Mukhtar street had been giving classes about jihad and the need to go to Sirte and join IS, claiming that all governments were kufar (infidels).
According to the youth, those attending were aged 18 to 23.
In early June, when IS was still in control of Derna, Ghariani famously insisted that they were not extremists and were popular with locals – a claim that was equally famously disproved less than a week later when IS was expelled from the town by the local mujahideen. [/restrict]