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Libyan group seeks transfer of Manchester bomber case to ICC

A handout CCTV photo released by Greater Manchester Police on June 1, 2017, shows Salman Abedi in the Manchester area in days preceding the attack on the Manchester Arena on May 22, 2017 that killed 22 people. (AFP)

JEDDAH: A Libyan human rights group has linked the Manchester Arena bomber to an extremist Libyan group, and has called for transferring the case to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for investigation and to reveal “Qatar’s role as a financier of this group.”
British authorities earlier said that 22-year-old Salman Abedi, who was born in Britain, had executed the bombing on May 22, resulting in the deaths of 22 concert-goers and 119 injuries.
The Libyan National Committee for Human Rights demanded from the office of the prosecutor of the ICC and the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) “to urgently open a comprehensive international investigation in the political intervention in the internal affairs of Libya and the financial and military support from Qatar to Islamist and extremist organizations in Libya,” namely support to groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Ansar Al-Sharia terrorist organization.
Libyan lawyer and politician Abdulhafith Ghouta said Friday in a telephone interview with Arab News from Cairo, where he resides, that Abedi “belongs to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (Al-Jama’a Al-Islamiyyah Al-Muqatilah bi-Libya), which is known for its ties to Qatar,” and that the extent of Qatari support to the organization is no secret.
Ghouta said recent confrontations in Tripoli led to the exit of the group’s base from the city, led by Khalid Al-Sharif, one of the leaders of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.
In a statement, the human rights committee said Qatar is at the forefront of countries meddling in Libyan affairs and exacerbating the armed conflict by supporting armed militant groups and political extremists.
Such intervention hindered the democratic process during the transition stage, said the human rights committee, as well as dragging Libya into a new civil war due to violence erupting at the end of 2014 between armed groups loyal to Al-Karama operation and the House of Representatives, and other extremist and Islamist groups named Fajr Libya.
The military, financial, and political support for such groups by Qatar also led to significant deaths and injuries of civilians and military personnel due to suicide terror operations and assassinations in Benghazi, Darna and Barak, the human rights committee said.
The committee went on to state that Qatari meddling and intervention since 2011 further propagates violence and humanitarian crises, a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions banning arms in Libya.

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