Movements and armed groups in Libya

The Libyan Islamic Movement

Although the idea goes back to the 1970s, the movement emerged in the early 1980s, and then divided into two groups, one of which continued under the name of (Libyan Islamic Group), known later as (Muslim Brotherhood Movement), while the other group continued its work under the name of (Libyan Islamic Movement). Sheikh Mohammed bin Ghaly, member of the movement, said that the difference in the method of work not its objectives was the reason of separation.

Movement’s Approach

The Libyan Islamic movement’s approach focuses on the country. According to its theoretical orientation, the movement is characterized by opening to populace and staying away from the elitist, and, tending to deal with contemporary daily issues. It also eliminates moral instruction and guidance, as opposed to focusing on the intellectual side.

Movement’s Address

The Public sound has control over the movement’s speech. The movement is more flexible than other Libyan Islamic movements with respect to joining it, and is also less stringent in terms of cultural and political openness than other bodies and organizations, and its association with the country, regulatory and not intellectually, is stronger than its global association.


The Libyan Islamic Group (currently, Muslim Brotherhood)

Since 1993, known as (Libyan Islamic Group), and it is an extension of the Islamic Movement founded by Hassan Al-Banna in Egypt, so it follows the approach of (Muslim Brotherhood) Group. Its activities in Libya, as a Muslim Brotherhood Group, have started after the arrival of a number of teachers of Egypt’s Brothers to teach in Libya.

Group’s principles

The Group believes that Islam is a religion and a state. Is aimed at changing the current rule and establishing an Islamic rule instead, a matter it believes to be a legitimate duty.

Group’s Speech

The movement’s speech focuses on the history of Islam and its contemporary movement in Libya. It took care of the plight of Islam and Muslims in Libya, and supported and sympathized with the stances of various parties, groups, trends and Islamic icons. The movement speech focused on the universality of Islam by reviewing Islamic activity areas worldwide. In the late 1970’s, the address developed, and was dominated by a direct exhortative voice. Then, by the mid-1980’s, it lessened that voice, and sought a political alternative.

Group’s Publications

The Group issued its central journal (The Muslim), and its first edition was published in September 1980. It was the first Libyan Islamic magazine to be published against the military regime. The Group issued also a periodic bulletin called (Libya …silent language of Muslim youth). It also issued a group of audio and video tapes contain interviews with several Libyan Muslim icons. In addition, the Group adopted the publication and distribution of contemporary Libyan Islamic books, which include some chapters of the book (Modern populism, Chapters in history and politics) of Mohamed Mustafa Ramadan, published in 1971.

Group’s Icons

Sheikh Mohammad bin Ghaly: Represented the Group in public and private meetings and conferences.

Mohammad Al-Hafsy : Group Representative

Rasheed Al-Muntasser: General Leader of the Group.

Abdullah Abu Sen: Group Representative in several occasions

Sulaiman Abdul Kader: Current Observer.

Armed Groups in Libya


Libyan Fighting Group:

An armed organization holds thought of Salafis jihad, established by a group of young people who took part in the Soviet war in Afghanistan. In the 1900’s of the 20th century, the organization carried out military operations in civilian and security positions in Libya aiming to depose the regime. It is the most important and strongest Libyan Islamic organizations that adopted the option of forcibly change the regime.

In 1982, Aly Al‘ushby and eight other people formed the first nucleus. But, Libyan security services have ruled. In 1989, Awad Al-Zawawy restructured the organization, but, he was arrested and still incarcerated. Then, in 1989, Mohamed Almhshhsh, known as Sayyaf Libya (i.e. executioner of Libya), founded Islamic martyrs movement.

General Policy

On18 October 1995, the first statement announcing the establishment of the Islamic Fighting Group in Libya was issued. The statement included several points describing the general policy of the group:

– A Muslim group prepare for Jihad (fighting) against enemies of Allaah led by ruling seducers who govern according to other than what Allaah revealed so as to not be a sedition and all religion is for God.

– Belief, understanding and approach: the doctrine of Sunnis and the Group (Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah,) and the philosophy of good ancestors of companions and followers.

– Objective and Goal: Allah’s satisfaction, to make every effort to establish His religion (i.e. to do what He orders you to do practically), and to establish it in the Earth.

– Means: Observance of the order of Allah regarding Jihad in His cause, and making invitation to Him through a group with a prince, and a commitment to hearing and obedience, and jihad.

– Method of work: a comprehensive preparation of individuals. Benefit from the principle of confidentiality in work as imposed by the legitimate interest. Make people aware, spread the spirit of Jihad and incite believers to fight. Support and loyalty to all struggling communities all over the world. Not to rely on any seducing body, and depend, after Allah, on own resources to fund the march of jihad.

Group’s Journal

They had a monthly journal published by the Islamic Information Center, named (Al-Fajr), (i.e. dawn), and it was first published in 1994. The journal had been distributed in London in the 1990s of last century. That was when doors and files were available to receive significant elements of all Islamic trends, and those in Afghanistan during the war against the Soviet presence there in particular. The journal had a special tactical subject of Islamic religious terms used in its battle against the then current rule in Libya.

Group Leaders

Abdul Hakim Al-khouildi (Abu Abdallah Al-Sadek), Prince (Amir) of the Group.

Sami Mustafa Al-Saadi (Abu Al-Munther), Jurisprudent of the Group.

Salah Fathy Soliman (Abdul Rahman Al-Khatab), killed in 1997

Khalid Al-Sharif (Abu Hazim), Deputy Prince of the group.

Muftah Al-Dowadi, Prince of the Group, 1992.

Nu’man bin Othman, Chairman of the Media and Political Committee and Spokesman of the Group with the name (Abu Tamama Al-Liby and Abdul Majid Al-Liby).

Mustafa Konifid, Head of the Military Committee.

Abdul Wahab Qaed, Prince of the Southern Sector.

Abdul Hakim Al-Ammari, Head of the Security Committee.

Saleh Abdul Sayed, Head of the Legislative Committee.

Relationship with Al-Qaeda

The Group engaged in fighting together with (Al-Qaeda) against Soviet and Afghan anti-Taliban groups, however, there was a divergence of thought that prevented their merger, where the goal of the Libyan Group was deposing the regime in Libya, while Osama bin Laden’s priorities were towards other goals that do not help the Group achieving its goal. However, there remained a mutual respect. Then, in November 2007, the second-in-command of Al-Qaeda, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, announced their merger.

Most Important Operations

Shawwal 1416 (1996) – Group attempted to assassinate Colonel Muammar Qaddafi in his hometown of Sirte.

Shaaban 1417 (1996) – Group attempted to assassinate Qaddafi in Brac city, in Wady Al-Shate area, in the Southern part.

1418 (1998) – Group announced an attempt to assassinate Gaddafi’s in Al-Baida City, in the Eastern part.

Confrontation with the Libyan authorities:

In 1995, Libyan security had spotted the organization of the Libyan fighting group after pursuing a number of its members in a confrontation that took place in a suburb of the city of Benghazi in eastern Libya. Leaders of the Organization out of the country believed that conditions were not suitable for the Group, and this was the reason of exposing it. Late in 1995, the group appeared again in public. But, after a number of raids and confrontations, the organization collapsed when a large number of its members had either been killed or arrested. Accordingly, in 1999, its armed presence entirely vanished.


In 2009, (corrective studies) had been conducted, where imprisoned leaders of the organizations argued with figures, well known to, and respected by Libyan fighting group, such as Dr. Ali alsalabi, member of Muslim Brotherhood, also, Noman bin Othman, a former leader in the organization. Following these interviews, Libyan authorities released the detainees.