Tripoli, 30 January 2013:
The special SSC support units, known as Quwat Al-Rida or Al Khasa, have stopped operations, the Libya Herald has learned. Under the control of Abdul-Rauf Karah, and active since late November, combatting drugs abuse and other criminal activities, the highest-profile of the groups has been the Nawasi brigade.
Staff at the operations room for all the support units, based inside Miitiga airbase, told the Libya Herald today that “we don’t want to work any more because the government does not support us and the media and the population have turned against us”.
A fortnight ago, a member of one of the support units, Battalion 14, was murdered while on duty in Tripoli’s suburb of Suq Al-Juma. His death was seen as a reprisal against the special units that were established by the Interior Ministry to combat drugs.
The previous week there were deadly clashes in Fashloum and elsewhere in Tripoli between youths and members of support units following the death in suspicious circumstances of suspected drugs dealer Najmi Al-Abani. He had been arrested by one of the groups. His death was called “unlawful” by Deputy Interior Minister Omar El-Khadrawi. The killing is currently the subject of an official inquiry.
The units are said to have seized large quantities of drugs and alcohol in their short existance so far.
The Nawasi brigade first shot to attention in December when they arrested a group of homosexuals at a party in the Tripoli suburb of Ain Zara.