Mahdi al-Harati

Mahdi al-Harati (born c. 1973) is an Irish-Libyan politician and former co-commander of the Tripoli Brigade during the Libyan Civil War.[3] He was also the commander of Liwaa Al-Umma, a militant group fighting against the Syrian government in the Syrian civil war.[4]

Mahdi al-Harati
Mahdi al-Harati (6152656965).jpg
Mahdi Al-Harati in September 2011, after the Battle of Tripoli
Mayor of Tripoli[1]
In office
June 2014 – 20 August 2015[2]
Preceded bySadat Al Badri
Succeeded byAbdul-Rahman Al-Ghillai (acting)
Personal details
Bornc. 1973 (age 46–47)
Tripoli, Libya[3]
Military service
AllegianceLibya National Transitional Council (2011)
Syria Syrian National Council (2012)
Branch/serviceLibya National Liberation Army
RankCommander/Colonel
CommandsTripoli Brigade[3]
Liwaa al-Umma
ConflictsLibyan Civil War
Syrian Civil War

Before the Libyan civil war he was an Arabic teacher in Dublin, where he lived with his Irish-born wife and family.[5]

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.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8]

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[4] and handed over its command to the Free Syrian Army.[9]

In 2014, Al-Harati was elected mayor of Libya's capital city of Tripoli.[1]

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.[10]

Accusations of Terrorism related ActivityEdit

Al Harati was placed on a ban list[11][12][13] by, UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and other countries for links to supporting Terrorism[14] 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".

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Irish-Libyan elected mayor of Tripoli".
  2. ^ "Central Tripoli mayor dismissed over failure to provide proper services | the Libya Observer".
  3. ^ a b c "Irish Libyans join rebels trying to oust Gadafy". Irish Times. 13 August 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  4. ^ a b "الحارثي آمر "لواء الأمة": 99% من المقاتلين معي سوريون, أخبــــــار". Aawsat.com. Archived from the original on 2013-11-05. Retrieved 2013-12-07.
  5. ^ "Irish Libyan Mahdi al-Harati leads the overthrow of Colonel Gadafy". Irish Central. 29 August 2011. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  6. ^ Stieven Ramdharie (2011-08-15). "Wie zijn de Tripoli Brigade precies? - De opstand in Libië - VK". Volkskrant.nl. Retrieved 2013-12-07.
  7. ^ Post (6 January 2011). "The Sunday Times". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
  8. ^ Fitzgerald, Mary (11 October 2011). "Libyan-Irish commander resigns as deputy head of Tripoli military council". Irish Times. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
  9. ^ "Rebel army moves command centre inside Syria to organise fractured forces". Archived from the original on September 26, 2012. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  10. ^ "Former Tripoli Mayor Al-Harati arrested in Malta over knife attack". Libyan Express. 2017-01-28.
  11. ^ "Arab powers list 59 individuals as Qatar-linked terrorism supporters".
  12. ^ "Saudi-led group blacklists 18 individuals, groups | GCC News | al Jazeera".
  13. ^ "Arab nations list 59 individuals, 12 entities on Qatar-linked terror list".
  14. ^ Vella, Mathew. "Former Tripoli mayor Al Harati in Saudi list of Qatar-backed terror sponsors". Malta Today. Malta Today. Retrieved 24 November 2017.