KABUL: (Middle East Press) On Saturday, 12 spokespersons of various terrorist organizations including al-Nusra front, Ahrar ash-Sham and some other groups by distributing pamphlets announced the formation of ansar-e-sharia in Syria.
Ansar-e-Sharia surfaced in Tunisia and Libya in the aftermath of the fall of bin Ali in April 2011, and the killing of Qaddafi. In Tunisia, Saifuddin bin Hossein also known as Abu A’yyad, a former prisoner in the regime of Bin Ali and a former Jihadi in Afghanistan assumed the leadership of this group. Similarly, in Libya, Muhammad Azahawi leaded this group and with assistance from militants in the east succeeded in taking control of ben Ghazi, a bedrock of upheaval and the second most important city in Libya. Earlier, Ansar-e-Sharia was considered as one of the powerful groups affiliated with Al Qaeda in Yemen.
With the inception of the Syrian Crisis, Ansar-e-Sharia of Tunisia and Libya became particularly favorite for Turkey, Qatar, Saudi and Western powers to further their interest in destabilizing Syria.
The coup by El-Sisi in Egypt lead to the widening of differences between liberal and jihadi factions in Libya and Tunisia. In Sept 2012, armed personnel killed the U.S ambassador in Libya, Christopher Stevens, along with three other U.S personnel. A similar attack was carried out in Tunisia on the U.S. consulate as well by armed militants.
Americans put 10 million dollars for the capture of Ahmed Abu Khatala Maznun, who masterminded the attack on Benghazi. He was captured by the U.S forces with the help of Libya on 15th of May and Obama confirmed his capture two days later.
- On 18th Dec, 2013, Jacob Wallace, U.S. Ambassador in Tunisia, considered Ansar-e-Sharia that was involved in major attacks and killings in the region, as one of the most dangerous elements for the security of the region.
- On 10th Jan, 2014, Ansar-e-Sharia of Tunisia, Derna and Benghazi has been declared officially as a terrorist group by the U.S. foreign minister.
- On 19th Nov, 2014, Security Council black listed Ansar-e-Sharia of Tunisia, Derna and Benghazi as a terrorist group.
- On 20th Nov, 2014, Philip Hammond, British Foreign Minister with the input from the Security council hold Ansar-e-Sharia responsible for terrorism in Libya and Tunisia.
- On 24th, Aug, 2014, Libyan Parliament declared Ansar-e-Sharia as a terrorist outfit.
- Similarly on 15th Nov 2014, Council of Ministers, declared Ansar-e-Sharia along with other groups including Muslim Brotherhood, Nusra front, Ahrar ash-Sham, as terrorist groups and black listed them.
- 20 Nov, 2014, Philip Hammond, in his talks with Middle East, once again reminded them about the dangers of Ansar-e-Sharia and considered it as the most dangerous faction of Al Qaeda that needed to be countered.
- 28 march, 2015. UN Security Council emphasized the danger of ISIS, along with Ansar-e-Sharia, considering it as one of the most dangerous outfits of Al-Qaeda that needed to be stopped.
- France also supported the black listing of Ansar-e-Sharia as a terrorist group. Laurent Fabius, French Foreign Minister, on 26th Sept, 2014, recorded in the UN Security Council.
- Similarly, Tunisia also considered Ansar-e-sharia in attacking foreign tourists in the country.
- Ansar-e-Sharia having good relations with Turkey have been able to mark their presence in Syria. Opposition to the Syrian Government has been transformed into an amalgamation of the two of the worst terrorist groups i.e. ISIS and Ansar-e-Sharia in Syria.
Middle Eastern Countries and the West have to wake up to this menace. They have to put their dual standards aside and should realize their responsibility in escalating this crisis. They should be answerable for reasons they have been supporting such terror outfits.
Can they tell who will be the next target of Ansar-e-Sharia? Lebanon, Jordan or Turkey itself!