Libya Shield Force
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The Libya Shield Force is an armed organisation formed in 2012 out of anti-Gaddafi armed groups spread throughout Libya. The Libyan parliament designated much of the Libya Shield Force as terrorist and elements of the Libya Shield Force were identified as linked to al-Qaeda as early as 2012.
|Libya Shield Force|
قوة درع ليبيا
|Allies||Fajr Libya militia|
|Battles and war(s)||Libyan Crisis|
Since the outbreak of the Second Libyan Civil War, the Libya Shield Force has been associated with the Islamic fundamentalist side. In 2019, it reportedly aided the Government of National Accord in defending Tripoli from a LNA offensive.
The major branches of the Libya Shield Force fighting for Islamists in the current conflict are:
- Libya Shield 1, now part of the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries which is designated "terrorist" by the House of Representatives
- Another Benghazi unit, Shield 2, is considered more sympathetic to the federalists. The force reports to the Libyan defense ministry under the command of Wisam Bin Ahmid (or Humid), who commanded a Benghazi brigade called Free Libya Martyrs.
- The Western Shield, serving the General National Congress. The Western Shield is involved in fighting to the south and west of Tripoli. It is linked to Al-Qaida leader Abd al-Muhsin Al-Libi, also known as Ibrahim Ali Abu Bakr or Ibrahim Tantoush (not to be confused with Abu Anas al Libi).
- The Central Shield, serving the General National Congress. The Central Shield was heavily involved in the fighting to capture Tripoli International Airport. Due to the large number of Misratans, the Central Shield is often identified as Misrata brigades. Officially designated as "terrorists" by the Libyan House of Representatives.
The Libyan Ministry of Defense, under decision No. 29, formed and named Libya Shield Forces on 8 March 2012. Decision No. 29 states, "A brigade shall be formed in the Central Region of Libya and is to be called Libya Shield – The forces of the Central Brigade shall consist, in general, of rebels from the following regions, Misrata, Sirte, Jafra, Bani Walid, Terhuna, Alkhmuss, Mslath and Zliten. Colonel Mohammed Ibrahim Moussa shall be the commander of the brigade and shall be stationed in Misrata." This decision was signed by the Minister of Defense, Osama Abdulsalam Aljuli. Thus, the name Libya Shield Forces was first coined by the Libyan Minister of Defense.
- "Libyan Militia Units That Aided U.S. Marines During Embassy Attack Linked To Al-Qaeda". Inquisitr. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
- Rosenthal, J. (2013). The Jihadist Plot: The Untold Story of Al-Qaeda and the Libyan Rebellion. Encounter Books. ISBN 9781594036828. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
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- Ayman Amzein and Maha Ellawati (9 June 2013). "Benghazi Libya Shield Protests: at least 27 dead". Libya Herald. Retrieved December 16, 2013.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
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- "Tripoli airport 'seized by Islamist militia'". Al Jazeera. 23 August 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
- Chris Stephen and Anne Penketh (24 August 2014). "Libyan capital under Islamist control after Tripoli airport seized". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 August 2014.