Mahdi al-Harati (born c. 1973) is an Irish-Libyan politician and former co-commander of the Tripoli Brigade during the Libyan Civil War. He was also the commander of Liwaa Al-Umma, a militant group fighting against the Syrian government in the Syrian civil war.
Mahdi Al-Harati in September 2011, after the Battle of Tripoli
|Mayor of Tripoli|
June 2014 – 20 August 2015
|Preceded by||Sadat Al Badri|
|Succeeded by||Abdul-Rahman Al-Ghillai (acting)|
|Born||c. 1973 (age 46–47)|
|Allegiance|| National Transitional Council (2011)|
Syrian National Council (2012)
|Branch/service||National Liberation Army|
|Conflicts||Libyan Civil War|
Syrian Civil War
He was described by Volkskrant, a Dutch daily newspaper, as being a face of the Battle of Tripoli and one of the most important rebel commanders of the Libyan civil war. The Sunday Times, a British newspaper, offered a first-hand account of Al-Mahdi's advance on Tripoli and his men's assault on Gaddafi's former residence, Bab Al-Azizia. He was appointed second in command of the newly formed Tripoli Military Council.
On 11 October 2011, Al-Harati resigned as deputy head of the Tripoli Military Council, amid tensions over security in the capital. According to the Irish Times, while Al-Harati's associates in Tripoli assured that the resignation was for "personal reasons", a senior NTC official quoted by CNN said that the resignation was because of "differences with the National Transitional Council on the planning of the security of Tripoli". Fathi Al-Wersali, a member of the Tripoli Military Council, stated that Al-Harati would continue as commander of the Tripoli brigade.
Following his involvement in the Libyan civil war al-Harati went on a fact-finding mission to Syria where, following discussions with members of the Syrian opposition, he decided to form the militant group Liwaa Al-Umma. After six months leading Liwaa Al-Umma, Al-Harati left the brigade in September 2012 and handed over its command to the Free Syrian Army.
On 27 February 2017, Al-Harati was the victim of a sectarian attack in which he was arrested in Malta along with two men who attacked him.
Al Harati was placed on a ban list by, UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and other countries for links to supporting Terrorism and Al Nusra front in Syria and for Terrorism related activities with Links to Qatari sponsorship. The ban list ensued the 2017 Qatar diplomatic crisis which a number of nations cut ties with Qatar for its alleged "financial support of international terrorism".
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- Fitzgerald, Mary (11 October 2011). "Libyan-Irish commander resigns as deputy head of Tripoli military council". Irish Times. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- "Rebel army moves command centre inside Syria to organise fractured forces". Archived from the original on September 26, 2012. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
- "Former Tripoli Mayor Al-Harati arrested in Malta over knife attack". Libyan Express. 2017-01-28.
- "Arab powers list 59 individuals as Qatar-linked terrorism supporters".
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- "Arab nations list 59 individuals, 12 entities on Qatar-linked terror list".
- Vella, Mathew. "Former Tripoli mayor Al Harati in Saudi list of Qatar-backed terror sponsors". Malta Today. Malta Today. Retrieved 24 November 2017.