Gulf of Sidra, Cyrenaica and Benghazi
Libyan Press Solidarity news reported on a protest on 14 November by members of Benghazi’s National Security personnel. The protests were directed against a decision by an integrity committee preventing Ashour Suliman Shuwail from becoming Minister of Interior in the new government cabinet. The Libya Herald also reported on a protest by High Security Committee members in Bayda on 15 November, over the issue of the integrity committee’s ban against Shuwail. The Protesters accused the committee of a lack of transparency and threatened to take forceful action. Shuwail, a former senior National Army officer who comes from Bayda played an active role in the war in Cyrenaica.
Press Solidarity reported that members of the National Security Directorate in Benghazi protested in front of the Tibesti Hotel on 19 November, demanding better equipment from the central government. Residents of Tobruk were also reported to have demonstrated on 18 November, demanding the central government intervene in the city to combat increasing drug abuse in the city.
The Libya Herald reported that unknown assailants stormed the maternity ward of Benghazi’s Jumhuriya Hospital on 14 November. According to the report, the assailants destroyed six out of twelve newly purchased beds delivered from Germany. Hospital staff reported that the reason for the attack is unknown. On 16 November, the Libya Herald reported that the Egyptian consulate in Benghazi’s Fuwaihat district was attacked by protesters on 13 November. The report claimed protesters tried to enter the consulate by force, causing limited damage outside the building, but were held back by Libyan security guards. The exact reason for the protest was not reported.
On 16 November, Egyptian daily Al Youm Al Sabiya reported that Egyptian border guards seized 35 surface-to-surface missiles being smuggled out of Libya. The report claimed that the smugglers were caught fifteen km north of the Libyan-Egyptian Salloum border crossing. The report also claimed that Egyptian border guards have intensified their interdiction efforts along the Libyan border, following a number of recent incidents. On 19 November, Al Youm Al Sabiya reported that the Algerian army had destroyed a truck carrying Russian-made rockets being smuggled out of Libya into northern Mali via Niger. The report claimed that the Algerian army destroyed 38 rockets and seized ten others.
Reuter’s news agency reported on a statement attributed to the commander of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) General Carter Ham on 14 November in which he claimed that some of those involved in the US consulate attack in September had links to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). According to the report, Ham quantified his statement by saying that while the attack was unlikely to have been specifically planned or led by AQIM, it was clear that some of the individuals involved had links to the organisation. On 17 November, the Libya Herald reported that David Petraeus, who recently resigned as the CIA director had stated that the CIA has always known that the 11 September attack on the US consulate in Benghazi was a terrorist attack, orchestrated by Al Qaeda linked militants.