Libyan National Army accused central bank head of funding extremist groups

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The National reports that the Khalifa Haftar-led Libyan National Army has accused the country’s central bank head of funnelling money to extremist groups, the Muslim Brotherhood and a militia leader who blockaded Libya’s largest oil terminals.

The Central Bank of Libya is subject to an international-led investigation into claims it has pushed Libya’s vital oil money into the hands of the militias, including Islamist extremists. It immediately rejected the claims, declaring the accusations to be “slander” and threatened the LNA with prosecution.

LNA spokesman Brigadier-General Ahmed Mismari said Qatar was involved in the funding of oil terminal blockader Ibrahim Jadhran and that CBL governor Sadiq Al-Kebir had helped fund groups with links to Al-Qaeda and Ansar Al-Sharia.

“Abdulhakim Belhadj seized from the inside of Gaddafi’s house 50 kilos of gold, €80 million, $75 million and 80 kilograms of Gaddafi’s jewellery,” claimed the LNA spokesman. Brig Gen Mismari said the accusation was based on an intercepted phone call between Mr Belhdaj and ally Mahdi Al-Herati, a Libyan who set up a Salafist rebel group in Syria.

The LNA spokesman also accused Mr Al-Kabir, the bank governor, of cooperating with Ali Sallabi who is Libya’s leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

It’s been a difficult couple of months for Mr Al Kabir and Libya’s central bank. Some have accused it of funding militias that run riot in the Libyan capital of Tripoli and elsewhere, and brigades supportive of Jihadi groups such as Al-Qaeda and Ansar Al-Sharia.

Last week a deputy prime minister, Fathi Al Majburi, of the UN-backed government resigned amid security concerns. He had called for great scrutiny of Libya’s central bank as Tripoli’s militias attacked his home. The UN-backed president in Tripoli ordered an investigation into the country’s finances and where it was distributed.

The news came as ISIS attacked the eastern town of Aguila near Ajdabiya, some 100 miles west of the LNA stronghold of Benghazi, beheaded a policeman, and hoisted their black flag atop the settlements buildings, before being pushed out. The LNA said they killed 13 Isis militants in the assault to retake Aguila.

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