The Justice and Construction (JC) party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya, has turned on Tripoli’s Dar al-Ifta head, Sheikh Sadeq al-Ghariani after he pronounced that anyone who backed the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) was “non-believer”. Ghariani is a controversial figure and long-standing opponent of the LPA who has regularly denounced the Presidential Council (PC) and Fayez al-Serraj, as well as the recent political agreements between Serraj and Khalifa Haftar. In the past he has called for a jihad against the Libyan National Army (LNA) and its commander Haftar. The party declared that the sheikh’s pronouncement was “irresponsible” and that it would engender further bloodshed. The JC’s announcement said Ghariani wanted to use religious fatwas to advance his political agenda which was unacceptable. The JC insisted that the PC and the LPA are the only option for Libya. Under the leadership of Mohamed Sawan, the JC has supported the LPA but has avoided going head to head with Ghariani until now.
On 18 August, a militiaman from Tripoli affiliated with the Abu Saleem Central Security (ABCS) militia led by Ghniwa al-Kikkli, was assassinated by unknown gunmen in the capital. This follows a sting operation conducted by the ASCS on 17 August against an alleged ‘cell’ of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). The LIFG cell, whose members were publically presented in a short ‘confession’ video, was allegedly planning to assassinate key political and security figures in the capital in coordination with the al-Kani militia which controls the nearby town of Tarhouna.