By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli/Beida/Benghazi , 7 May 2015:
The prospect of bloody fighting between Islamists in Derna has taken a step closer to . . .[restrict]reality with an ultimatum from the “Shoura Council of Mujahideen in Derna” (SCMD) to the Islamic State (IS) telling it to renounce extremism or face the consequences.
The ultimatum follows claims made last Friday in a sermon by an IS preacher at a Derna mosque that IS and its supporters were the only true Muslims while others in the town, such as SCMD, were in fact fighting to protect infidels.
The SCMD also accused IS of the horrific suicide bombing in Guba in which 46 people died. Furthermore, its Takfiri damnation of other Muslims as non-Muslims was unacceptable and had to stop. It condemned IS, too, for the murders last month of members of the Harir Al-Mansouri family.
The SCMD was formed after the launch of operation Dignity in May 2015 and still remains firmly anti-Hafter. Initially it consisted of Ansar al-Sharia in Derna headed by Sufian Ben Qumu, the Abu Sleem Martyrs brigade headed by Salem Derbi, Islamic Army headed by Amin Kalfa and the Islamic Fighting group headed by Nasser Akkar.
It did not include IS which then, true to its Takfiri practices, declared SCMD apostate (murtad). Following this, Ansar pulled out of the Shoura Council.
There have been numerous clashes between IS, reportedly in alliance with Ansar, and SCMD, as much over possession of weapons as ideology. Despite their differences, both still have a common hatred of Hafter.
Yesterday’s ultimatum to IS was read out by Salem Derbi. Last October, his Abu Sleem brigade was adamant that it would have nothing to do with IS’ caliphate and would never give its allegiance to anyone outside the country.
Derna is largely controlled by IS, and has been carrying out what is being seen as a reign of terror through killings to intimidate people but the other Islamists still retain their own power bases. Last year, a number of Islamist local leaders were murdered in Islamist infighting. [/restrict]