Libya’s Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council Logo
CAIRO – 25 July 2017: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain announced in a joint statement late Monday that they have included Libya’s Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council among the nine organizations newly added to their terrorism watch list.
The Arab quartet added three Yemeni and six Libyan associations to their terrorist list, stressing that "these new measures come within the framework of monitoring the counter terrorism approach that the four Arab nations determined."
The Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council (BRSC) was formed in eastern Libya in mid-2014 as a coalition of terrorist militias that included the UN and US sanctioned Ansar al-Sharia Benghazi and the Rafallah Sahati Brigade (designated herein).
Ismail Mohammed al-Sallabi -- a key recipient of Qatari financial and military support during the Libyan revolution and a commander of the Benghazi Defense Brigades -- is a commander in the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council. Ismail Mohammed al-Sallabi is designated by the four countries calling for combating terrorism in June 2017.
Ansar al-Sharia leader Mohammed Ali al-Zahawi (now deceased) was also a leader of the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council until his death in January 2015. Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council commander Mohammed Saeed al-Darsi was convicted in Jordan in 2007 for coordinating a series of failed al-Qaida suicide attacks against Amman’s airport and other civilian targets in Jordan.
In 2015 and until early 2016, the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council fought alongside the Libyan branch of Daesh (ISIS / ISIL), according to the United Nations and statements by the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council’s leadership.
The Arab quartet’s statement added that the continuous and ongoing “violations” of the Authorities in Doha of Qatar’s commitments and obligations enshrined in agreements to which it is a signatory, have necessitated The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and the Kingdom of Bahrain to act to update their respective lists of designated terrorist organizations and individuals.
Qatar’s relations with several Arab states have been strained since May 24 over a leaked statement attributed to Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, criticizing Gulf foreign policy with Iran, describing it as “unwise”.
Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad’s recent remarks in which he attacked Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) prompted the major Arab powers to adopt urgent and strict measures towards Doha.
The Qatari crisis was escalated when Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE, along with Yemen and Libya announced a coordinated diplomatic break with Qatar, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. They also closed their airspace and seaports for Qatari transportation.