RADA Special Deterrence Forces

State of Libya Al Radaa For Countering Terrorism & Organized Crime. (Arabic: دولة ليبيا جهاز الردع لمكافحة الارهاب والجريمة المنظمة) is a Madkhali[1] radical Islamist special operations military police unit formed in Tripoli Libya for the purpose of tackling crime. It is also known as RADA Special Deterrence Forces, or commonly, "RADA". Its focus is high-profile kidnappings,[2] murders, drug and alcohol poisoning related deaths, illegal migrant smuggling, weapons smuggling, explosives smuggling, terrorist attacks and plots. A lack of political power and police presence in Tripoli provoked the founding of this special unit.

State of Libya Al Radaa For Countering Terrorism & Organized Crime
دولة ليبيا جهاز الردع لمكافحة الارهاب والجريمة المنظمة
Foundedapprox 2011–2012 (12 years ago) by Abdulrauf Kara
Country Libya
AllegiancePresidential Council (Libya) and Abdulrauf Kara
BranchMinistry of Internal Affairs
TypeRadical Islamic Paramilitary Special Forces
RoleSWAT / Militarized Police Ops
Part ofMinistry of Interior
WebsiteRADA Deterrence Forces on Facebook
LeadershipAbdul Raouf Kara

The leader is Abdul Raouf Kara.[3][4][5][6][7]

Rada has been involved in tackling non-Islamic activities and dissidents within Tripoli, including fighting against Libyan National Army.



RADA was originally a fighting unit that helped topple Muammar Gaddafi in the 17 February 2011 Civil War. After Gaddafi, Abdul Rauf Kara was a member of the police force formed by the Supreme Security Committee with a reported 700 men at his disposal. The Supreme Security Committee (SSC) was then dissolved into the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Libya[8] where his forces were then relabeled as RADA Special Deterrence forces under the guidance of the Ministry of Interior.

Size and composition


The group has an estimated 1500 members. It is the third or fourth largest militia in Tripoli. 90% of their force are legitimate police officers, 70% of whom served in the Libyan police force prior to 2011. Their main areas of operations in Tripoli are the western areas of Soug Al Jouma and Ain Zara. Their headquarters are at Mitiga International Airport.[9][10][11]



RADA operates as an independent department under the Ministry of Interior,[11] and implements a focused anti-narcotics and police force mandate. RADA Special Forces are involved in police work, investigations, arrests, patrols, checkpoints, and other anti-crime activities. This organisation actively and publicly releases images and online footage displaying the seizure of explosives and components smuggled by terrorists, unregulated alcohol seizures, unregulated medical goods such as Tramadol, dollar-dinar black market arrests, arrests of terrorism and terrorist suspects, arrests of kidnappers and other criminals, seizing illegal contraband, etc.

RADA operates primarily within Tripoli, but also outside the capital, in cities such as Sabratha, Zawiah, Benghazi, Sirte, Dernah and Zwarah.

RADA operates under Islamic Sharia principles with "accordance to" post Gaddafi era Laws reformed under controversial circumstances[12][13][14] by the Islamic Supreme court of Tripoli. Legal and political reforms were made during the Coup d'état against House of representatives in the battle of Tripoli of 2013-14 by "Libya Dawn".

As an example, in August 2017, one of Libya's most notorious human and fuel smugglers Fahmi Salim Bin Khalifa was captured[15][16][17] as ordered by the Attorney General's Office and praised by the state owned National Oil Corporation. The move is notable due to Libya's 2013 – 2017 security vacuum and governance crisis.



Raid on Comiccon Libya


On 3 November 2017, RADA and the Nawasi Brigade in charge of security shut down the officially registered[18] 'Comiccon Libya' event, which hosted around 2000 – 3000 people. The event was raided by RADA in the Dat El Emad office complex area.[19]

The organizers of Comiccon were accused by RADA to host "satanic, pornographic, and masonic material that intended to corrupt the morals[20][21] of the youth and the Libyan people, influenced by western culture". The alarm was raised when Facebook groups mistakenly labeled the Comiccon as a Halloween event, implying that the event was hosting pagan material. Commiccon was sponsored by the 'SIGMA' group, and hosted Comics from Marvel and other related material (Otaku) from anime and manga comics. Foam board images of Catwoman, Wonderwoman, and Hulk were torn down, Disney action figures were broken as they "represented false idols" that were deemed haram by hardline Islamists. The Al Nawasi brigade in charge of security demanded the immediate removal of Japanese art and language writing as some resembled Christian crosses. A Korean-Japanese booth selling Japanese kimono was closed and accused of spreading Buddhism. The organizers of Comiccon faced "legal prosecution" for "violating public morals".[22]


  1. ^ "The battle for Tripoli could be decided by the Madkhalis". The Economist. November 2019.
  2. ^ Zaptia, Samy (23 July 2016). "Tripoli as a kidnap capital". Libya Herald. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  3. ^ Dettmer, Jamie (11 June 2015). "Meet the Islamic Fanatic that wants to kill Isis". The Daily Beast. Daily Beast – 06.11.15 2:30 AM ET. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  4. ^ Heshri, Osman. "SSC still necessary – Abdel Raouf Kara". Security Assistance Monitor. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  5. ^ Mathi, Muataz (30 July 2016). "Hardliners target Rada chief Kara". Libya Herald. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  6. ^ "ISIS Attacks Tripoli's Mitiga Airport". Libya Security Monitor. 19 September 2015.
  7. ^ Vella, Mathew. "abducted Maltese man says he is in good health". Malta Today. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  8. ^ "Resolution No. (191) of 2011 dissolving the Supreme Security Committee". DCAF – Security legislation Libya. Geneva Centre for Democratic Control of Armed Forces. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  9. ^ Wehrey, Frederic (10 February 2018). "When the Islamic State Came to Libya". The Atlantic.
  10. ^ "A quick guide to Libya's main players". ECFR.
  11. ^ a b "Who are Tripoli's Most Important Militias?". libya-analysis.com. 5 December 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  12. ^ "Libya supreme court 'invalidates' elected parliament". BBC News. 6 November 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  13. ^ "LIBYA: RULE OF LAW OR RULE OF MILITIAS?" (PDF). Amnesty International. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  14. ^ "World Report 2014: Libya". Human Rights World Report 2014: Libya. 21 January 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2020. {{cite book}}: |website= ignored (help)
  15. ^ Assad, Abdulkader. "Libya's state oil firm praises capture of fuel smuggling kingpin". www.libyaobserver.ly. Libya Observer. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  16. ^ Zaptia, Sami (25 August 2017). "Libyan illegal migration trafficking and fuel king of smuggling arrested". Libya Herald. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  17. ^ Vella, Mathew. "Kingpin fuel and human smuggler with Malta links arrested by Libyans". MaltaToday. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  18. ^ "Libya: Armed group shuts down comic book convention". BBC News. 4 November 2017.
  19. ^ "Rada raids Comic Con, arrests over 20 organisers, participants and spectators |". 4 November 2017.
  20. ^ "Libya Special Deterrent Force shuts down Comic Con convention in Tripoli, arrests organisers". 4 November 2017.
  21. ^ SDF bans Libya Comic Con libyaobserver.ly [dead link]
  22. ^ "After Libya Comic Con arrests, still no word on detained organizers | Africa Times". 10 November 2017.