“The intelligence service has recently arrested the head of a Daesh cell who was planning an operation in the government headquarters when al-Sarraj is inside,” the intelligence chief, Mustafa Noah, told Turkish Anadolu Agency on Friday using the Arabic acronym the Islamic State group.
He identified the IS commander as Abu Moaz Al-Ansari who, he added, “was assigned with carrying out the operation, but the intelligence service managed to abort it.”
Serraj and his Presidency Council appointed in Morocco, in December under the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) established their authority in capital Tripoli in March, after they had operated from Tunisia for security reasons.
Backed by the international community, Serraj is still struggling to impose his rule across the country.
Last week, Head of UN Support Mission in Libya, Martin Kobler said in an interview with Swiss Neue Zürcher Zeitung media that Serraj and the GNA are losing popularity because of mounting social, economic challenges.
“Now the GNA has lost support. In April, Tripoli had electricity for 20 hours a day. Now it is 12 hours. In April, people were paying LD 3.5 for a US dollar. Today it is LD 5. This is disastrous in an import-oriented economy. The support is crumbling.” Kobler said.
Serraj despite the growing public outrage is winning confidence as GNA forces are on the verge of defeating IS in Sirte; the last stronghold of the terrorist group in the North African country.
Sirte, hometown of former ruler Muammar Gaddafi, is almost cleared of IS last resistances. Pro-GNA forces claimed Sunday they took control of IS police headquarters in Sirte as well as 200 apartments.
The US also indicated its forces launched two airstrikes against IS positions on Sunday, bringing to 67 the number of airstrikes launched since August 1, the day the US entered the campaign “at the request of the GNA.”