Previous to the assassination of well-known politician and lawyer Abdel-Salam al-Mismari, political murders were targeted against Libyan security or senior armed forces members who had served in the former regime.

Previous to the assassination of well-known politician and lawyer Abdel-Salam al-Mismari, political murders were targeted against Libyan security or senior armed forces members who had served in the former regime. Involved parties and justifiction of these operations had been acknowledged since the assassination of General Abdul Fatah Younis and his comrades, as the former served Gaddafi’s regime in the Interior Minister and greatly contributed to eliminating the rebellion of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group in the mid-1990s. When members of this group were freed and armed following the February 17, 2011 revolution, they decided to avenge their inflected injustice by assassinating Younis and investigations and fingers pointed in this direction although this case is still not solved. 

The way the assassination was performed and covered by Islamist and non-Islamist groups indicated that Younis had not cut his ties with Gaddafi’s regime, especially since the Eastern Front, commanded by Younis, failed to progress westward. Indeed, Younis was found to be in constant contact with Gaddafi’s senior officers in an attempt to overthrow the regime from within, according to Barani Ashkal (Editor: Gaddafi’s cousin and commander of loyalist forces in charge of suppressing the rebels in Tripoli, who was later found to be coordinating with the rebels until the day of the capital’s liberation).

Afterwards, the assassinations frequently targeted the eastern region and particularly Benghazi where al-Qaeda is located and is determined to take revenge against all the officers who tracked them in the mountains, chased them through Derna, mutilated their comrades’ bodies in Benghazi and tortured and arrested them. Such murders were committed by members with a great deal of experience in explosives excluding the assumption that they were committed by the convicts and criminals who escaped from prisons.

It is also unlikely that former regime agents have conducted these assassinations for if they did, they would have targeted those who instigated and participated in the revolution.  In addition, post-revolution Islamist battalions such as 17 February Battalion, Rafullah Sahati and Ansar al-Sharia are controlling the Libya on the ground.

Furthermore, the assassins managed to penetrate the Interior Ministry, chiefs of staff and the armed forces organization and were able to eavesdrop on everyone and track any individual, while former regime agents lacked these capabilities, which explains the absence of any investigation results, including the ones related to the assassination of Abdel Fatah Younis and his two comrades.

The assassination of Abdel-Salam al-Mismari sparked a great debate since it was targeted against a lawyer defending Abu Salim prisoners and was the one to recite the Revolution Statement before North Benghazi Court. He demonstrated a bold personality when I interviewed him on the third day of the revolution especially when he criticized Gaddafi for sending his son Saadi to Benghazi. I, hence, wonder who planned and executed the assassination of one of the leaders of the February Revolution. He was a humble man who has never aspired to authority but rather defended the revolution from which he only gained his death.

Al-Qaeda may be behind this murder for the benefit of a temporary alliance, the purpose of which is to eliminate such a stubborn individual directing much criticism against Islamists and particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, especially their member Abdul Razzaq al-Aradi, whom he accused of being utilized by Gaddafi to negotiate with the rebels at the beginning of the revolution in Benghazi. Thus, has the Muslim Brotherhood or an affiliated group planned this crime?

Such an assassination serves several purposes, such as muzzling the opposition and using radical Islamists as scarecrows so that moderate Brotherhood members would come to power, especially since they are aware that ballot voting will not increase the number of their seats in the parliament, their conflict with the coalition of national forces is to no avail, Egypt’s events would negatively impact their status in Libya and that such a scenario piloted in Tunisia only resulted in Chokri Belaid and Brahmi’s murder, of which Salafists were accused.

The assassination of al-Mismari was not conducted single handedly, which is evident by the escape of Alkwyfah prisoners intending to draw attention in another direction, to calm the anger that erupted in Benghazi and Tripoli at the Brotherhood as well as the alliance of national forces’ offices despite their rivalry, where both have battalions ready to defend them and satellite channels to voice their politics. However, the Brotherhood is one step ahead of the coalition, where it has someone convinced of going to heaven if he kills or will be freed from jail if arrested, such is the case of Fazzani and if he became a burden, they would dispose of him.