By George Grant.
Benghazi, 3 June:
A group of Islamist militants has claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks on the Benghazi headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) that took place on 22 May.
The so-called Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman Brigade issued a statement yesterday, in which it accused the ICRC of “evangelistic” operations in Libya, including the distribution of Bibles and the dissemination of Christian doctrine. The group also objected to the use of a cross as the ICRC’s logo.
The brigade is named after the blind Egyptian terrorist Omar Abdul Rahman, also known as “The Blind Sheikh”, who is currently serving a life sentence in the United States in connection with the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Centre in New York.
“After we made sure that the [ICRC] had distributed Bibles to the displaced people of Tawergha, and had also held preaching lectures, we decided to warn them that we are aware of what they are doing, and that we will defend our religion… We decided to use an anti-tank shell this time because we only wanted to warn the preachers, and also to ensure the safety of the Muslims who might have been around the area.”
The group also listed a number of demands to the ICRC, which included removing the sign of the cross from all of their offices in Libya, the removal of all Bibles and the cessation of other supposedly evangelistic activity.
The ICRC is known to be a purely humanitarian organisation, which does not engage in proslytisation of any kind.
Also in its statement, the brigade denied that it had anything to do with the attack on the Sahara Bank’s Fuwaihat branch in Benghazi, which took place on the same day.