FILE - Al-Qaeda Judge in Libya Omar Refaei Sorour
CAIRO – 20 May 2018: High-risk terrorist, Omar Refaei Sorour, reappeared in the Derna city of Libya with Abu Sufian bin Qumu, the religious reference of all terrorist groups in the eastern city of Derna, a Libyan military source told Egypt Today Sunday.
Sorous was seen outside the gate of Lamees neighborhood, according to the source. Libyan security sources said in April that Sorour, who fights the Libyan army that aims to free Derna from militias, had disappeared.
Meanwhile, other sources said Sorous has been severely wounded, following air strikes on Al-Qaeda hideouts in Derna city in Libya, according to Cairo-based weekly newspaper, Al-Ahram Al-Arabi, on Sunday.
Salem al-Rafady, commander of Libyan Army’s brigade, Omar al-Mokhtar, revealed to Al-Ahram's correspondent in Libya that his brigade had successfully targeted several hideouts of Al-Qaeda organization in Derna. “Our sources confirmed the injury of Sorour who had been seen at a field hospital,” Rafady added.
Sorour is known as “Abu Abdullah al-Masry”. He is one of the key leading terrorists in Derna and he has been known for being the judge of Al-Qaeda in Libya. His father, Sheikh Refaei, was an influential leader of the banned group of the Muslim Brotherhood. Sheikh Refaei belonged to the Qubtist wing within the outlawed MB.
Sorour is accused of establishing the so-called al-Murabeton group which is the Libyan branch of Al-Qaeda, in coordination with wanted-criminal Hisham al-Ashmawy.
In Sorour’s point of view, all Arab and Muslim leaders are “tyrants” according to several fatwas issued by him.
He is responsible for recruiting and training Arab youth members and luring them to join terrorist groups in Syria, Libya and Egypt.
In 2012, Sorour swore the allegiance to Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, former potential presidential candidate. A support group for Ismail called "Hazemoon" was created under the supervision of Sorour before he fled to Derna after the 2013 revolution against the MB in Egypt.
“The importance of Sorour’s injury in Derna reflects the successful moves made by the Libyan army and confirms Al-Qaeda will lose soon one of its key leading members,” Rafady noted.
In 2016, media reports revealed that ISIS leaders in Libya had issued a fatwa to kill Sorour, considering him a traitor after preferring to join Al-Qaeda to ISIS.
Sorour did not hide his hostility to ISIS leaders, as he slammed them for killing innocent people in Derna and described them on his Twitter account as “tyrannical aggressors”.
In 2017, world-wide media reports revealed that Sorour is believed to be a liaison between Al-Qaeda Leader Ayman al-Zawahry and Algerian terrorist Mokhtar Bel-Mokhtar.