Objectives and activities of the Libyan Islamic Group, or Al-Jamaaq Al-Islamiq Al-Libya (1998-1999) [LBY31066.E]

Information on the Libyan Islamic Group is scarce among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

The most recent reference to the group is provided in a 1 July 1998 Amnesty International Urgent Action, which reports the arrest of people, mostly professionals and many of them suspected of "supporting or sympathizing with the Libyan Islamic Group, an undergound non-violent Islamist movement similar to the Muslim Brothers in other Middle Eastern countries."

An article published in the London-based newspaper Al-Wasat describing Islamic groups in Libya, however, refers to clashes between the Libyan Islamic Group and the Libyan security forces (11 Aug. 1996). The report indicates that the group believes in a union of religion and the state, and states that its leaders claim the group carries or has carried out unspecified activities in various areas of the country, including eastern Libya, Benghazi, Tripoli, Zawiyah, Sirte, Tobruk and Jabal Akhdar (ibid.). The report names Abu Abdullah al-Sadiq as the group's emir, who reportedly criticized its "Algerian counterpart," the Armed Islamic Group (GIA), for "shed[ding] blood without there being a convincing justification under Shari'ah"; the report indicates that this split means that the Libyan Islamic Group has stopped supporting its "Algerian brothers" and suggested that the Algerian jihad "should be disciplined, with Shari'ah controls and in accordance with a sound Shari'ah line" (ibid.). The August 1996 report states that "since the clashes of June 1995" in which Shaykh Abu Yahya, one of the group's main commanders was killed, "not a week has passed without an announcement in the [Libyan] Islamic Group's internal bulletins and related magazines about military operations, ambushes or assassination attempts on regime loyalists and security officers" (ibid.). The report clearly differentiates between the Militant Islamic Group (MIG) and the Libyan Islamic Group.

Another report, originally published by Al-Sharq Al-Awsat in 1997 and disseminated by the BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, states that the Libyan security forces had "managed to infiltrate the armed fundamentalist opposition and 'create disagreements and problems between its factions'," naming the Libyan Islamic Group as one such faction that had had disagreements with the Islamic Martyrs Movement (26 Aug. 1997).

An Internet Website listing Libyan opposition groups includes a brief entry for the Islamic Group "Libya" or Aj-jamaa Al-islamiya "Libya" (Ibrahim 1999). The entry states that the group was established in 1979 and publishes a magazine called Al-Moslim; in the same entry it also lists a newspaper labelled as independent called Al-Raed (ibid.).

The Paris-based magazine Arabies published a report on Libyan opposition groups in October 1995 which attributed intermittent publication of the magazine Al Mouslim to the leader of the Libyan Muslim Brothers in London. The report names the "Islamic Group (al Jamaa al Islamiyya)" as an organization created in 1980 outside Libya, and counting Sheikh Mohamed Ben Ghali as one of its leaders. In 1981 the Islamic Group united with the Libyan Islamic Movement, but later separated because of differences over its choice of actions (divergences sur les moyens d'action) (ibid.). Al Jamaa, as the report calls the group, is a member party of the international Islamic movement, according to Ben Ghali, albeit with reservations over the "Iranian project" due to the method of governance envisioned by the latter's mullahs and to the links between the Iranian and Libyan governments (ibid.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please see below the list of sources consulted in researching this information request.


Al-Sharq Al-Awsat [London]. 26 August 1997. "Libyan Patriots' Movement Says Government Has Infiltrated Opposition." (BBC Summary/NEXIS)

Al-Wasat [London]. 11 August 1996. "Newspaper Examines Role of Islamic Groups, Tribal Opposition in Libya." (BBC Summary/Global NewsBank)

Amnesty International. 1 July 1998. Urgent Action: Possible Prisoners of Conscience/ Fear of Torture/Legal Concern. (AI Index: MDE 19/07/98)

Arabies [Paris]. October 1995. No. 106. Ali El-Roz and Antoine Jalkh. "Libye: Les Anti-Kadhafi de A à Z."

Ibrahim, Ighneiwa. 1999. Libya: Opposition Groups, Parties and Organizations. [Internet] http://home.earthlink.net/~dribrahim/oppose.htm [Accessed 2 Feb. 1999]

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Confidential [London]. 1996-1998.

Extremist Groups.

Islam and Islamic Groups.

Electronic sources: Internet, IRB Databases, Global NewsBank, NEXIS, REFWORLD, WNC.


This list is not exhaustive. Subject- and country-specific books available in the Resource Centre are not included.