By Libya Herald reporter.
Tripoli, 26 June 2017:
Two Zawia militiamen are reported to have been arrested in Saudi Arabia on suspicion on links with terrorism after a request to detain them was allegedly sent to the Saudi authorities by the Egyptian government.
Mahmud Ben Rajab and Mohamed Al-Khadrawi are also said to be on a list of “terrorists” sent by the interim government in Beida to the Saudis. Both were allegedly detained yesterday at Jeddah airport as they were preparing to leave after performing Umrah.
According to one source, the two are members of the Farouk brigade, one of the Islamist militias led by Shaaban Masoud Hadia, better known as Abu Obaida Al-Zawi. It is claimed that they were involved in the kidnapping of five Egyptian diplomats in January 2014 when Al-Zawi, at the time the head of the Libyan Revolutionaries’ Operations Room, was arrested by the police in Alexandria on suspicion of having links with Al-Qaeda. Because of the kidnappings, the Egyptians were forced to release him. Following his release, the five were then freed.
The Farouk brigade and Zawi are militantly opposed to both the Libyan National Army and Khalifa Hafter in the east and the Presidency Council in the west.
Although said to be on a list sent to Riyadh by the Beida government, neither Ben Rajab not Khadrawi are on the “terrorist” list compiled a fortnight ago by the House of Representatives’s defence committee, and supposedly dispatched to the Saudis. However, Zawi is on it, described as being a member of “the military wing of Al-Qaeda”.
So far, all the reports of the two arrests come from Libyan sources. Saudi sources have been unable to confirm them.