A large number of Libyan extremists have emerged fighting amongst the ranks of the Government of National Accord (GNA) when the Libyan National Army (LNA) launched its military campaign in April 2019.
In July 2020, following the cessation of the fighting in Tripoli, it was reported that one of the most prominent militia commanders in Libya, Abdel-Ghani Al-Kilki, known as “Ghaniwa Al-Kikli”, was appointed as Libya’s consul in Morocco.
Al-Kikli has supported the Libyan Fighting Group affiliated with Al-Qaeda and fought against the LNA as leader of the General Security militia in the Abu Salim district of Tripoli.
Prior to the 2011 civil war, Al-Kikli was sentenced to fourteen years in prison for drug trafficking. He managed to escape in the midst of the war and created his own militia.
The GNA has also cooperated with Salah Badi, the founder of the Libya Dawn organisation, which was involved in a number of crimes inside Libya, primarily the destruction of the Tripoli International Airport in 2014.
The UN Security Council had included Badi on its sanctions list in November 2018 on charges of destabilizing security in Libya. Badi has called for the expulsion of the UN-mission from Libya, describing it as a “sinister mission.”
Badi has mediated to stop the armed fighting between the militias loyal to the GNA, after violent clashes erupted between them in Tripoli.
The GNA also hired Saad Al-Tira, who surfaced during the fighting against LNA forces. Al-Tira is a leader in Ansar Al-Sharia, and the Mujahideen Shura Council of Derna, which are classified as terrorist organisations affiliated with Al-Qaeda in Libya. Al-Tira, commonly known as Abu Al-Zubair Al-Darnawi, was born in Derna, eastern Libya, in 1977. He has fought alongside the Abu Salim Brigade of the GNA.
In May, a professional smuggler and one of the most dangerous human traffickers in Libya, Ahmed Dabbashi, nicknamed ‘Al-Ammo’ appeared fighting beside the GNA forces in Sabratha.
Al-Ammo commands the Dabbashi militia, the largest illegal immigration ring in western Libya, and also leads human trafficking networks. He has been wanted by the International Criminal Court since 2017 and is on the UN Security Council sanctions list on charges of human trafficking and migrant smuggling.
Recently, Bashir Khalaf Allah, aka ‘Al-Baqarah’ has emerged as one of the most prominent militia heads working with the GNA. He runs the Tajoura militia and has led multiple attacks on Mitiga International Airport.