Gulf of Sidra, Cyrenaica and Benghazi
Press Solidarity reported clashes in Tocra, 70 km northwest of Benghazi, on 7 December between police and an armed group. According to the report, the Tocra police director, Mohammed Al Aqouri reported that the clashes began after the armed group stormed a private home. One police officer was reported to have been seriously injured after an assailant threw a hand grenade inside his police car.
One Egyptian died and thirteen others were injured on 8 December in a car chase with security forces from Tobruk according to the Libya Herald. The men entered the country illegally through the desert near the Jaghboob area. The death occurred after one car overturned; the driver was able to escape.
The Wall Street Journal wrote on 7 December that Egyptian authorities have detained Muhammad Jamal Abu Ahmad, the alleged ringleader of an Egyptian terrorist network whose members are suspected of participating in the 11 September attack on theUS consulate in Benghazi. According to the report, Western counter-terrorism officials consider Abu Ahmad, who sought to establish an Al Qaeda network in Libya, as one of the most dangerous operatives to emerge in the wake of the Arab Spring.
A Fox News report on 6 December citing an unnamed international cargo shipper based in the Mediterranean, claimed that arms have been shipped from Libya to Syria in support of the Syrian fighters, beginning almost immediately after the fall of the Qahdafi regime. A separate report in the UK Sunday Times on 9 December claimed that the US Central Intelligence Agency office in Benghazi oversaw a program to purchase Libyan weapons for transfer to Syrian rebels. According to the report, the weapons included mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, anti-tank missiles, and possibly man portable surface to air missile systems.
Unconfirmed reports on 10 December claimed that an Austrian diplomat was released after being held in Al Kufra for three days. A separate and unconnected report attributed to the Austrian embassy’s Commercial Counsellor, David Bachmann claimed that he (Bachmann) had been warned by ‘security experts’ to expect an increase in kidnappings in Libya within the next few months. Bachman had left Libya on 18 November after a reported altercation in Tripoli with drunken youths and returned to the country on 4 December.