Islamist vs. Jihadist: Complications Grow in Libya’s Benghazi

Two Different 'Shura Councils' Aim to Run City

by Jason Ditz, August 18, 2014

In the growing Libyan Civil War, you can’t tell the players without a scorecard. After ousting coup Gen. Khalifa Hifter’s forces at the end of July, the important city of Benghazi fell to the Jihadist “Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries.”

Today, the city seems to be careening toward another battle, as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist allies have founded another, slightly less extremist shura council, claiming it is the rightful government of Benghazi.

The original shura council does not recognize the new one, and accuses the Muslim Brotherhood of “ignoring the true mujahedeen,” saying they won’t allow the plot to succeed.

The Jihadist shura council is led by fighters loyal to Ansar al-Sharia, while the new council relies on several small Islamist militias for its fighting force. Both seem destined to clash over control of the city.

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