Libya’s spiritual leader leaves UK after directing Islamist takeover of Tripoli

The Guardian reports: Libya’s most senior religious authority, the grand mufti Sheikh Sadik al-Ghariani, is believed to have fled Britain after it emerged that he was helping to direct the Islamist takeover of Tripoli from the UK.

Ghariani left the UK for Qatar as Home Office officials began examining broadcasts he had made to Islamist groups using an internet television station owned by a relative in Devon.

The radical cleric used the website Tanasuh to celebrate the violent capture of Tripoli by an Islamist militia force, Libya Dawn, and to call for a widening of the rebellion.

The Arabic-language website, which is viewed thousands of times a day in Libya, is registered to a close relative at a white-washed terraced house near Exeter city centre.

The Foreign Office confirmed on Friday that Ghariani was in Britain. They said he had come in a private capacity and was not invited by ministers or officials. The cleric is understood to have left the country of his own volition rather than being excluded by the Home Office on the grounds of national security or “unacceptable behaviour”. [Continue reading…]

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