Libyan-Canadian Imam denies links to Manchester attack

Abdelbasit Ghwaila (Photo: Libyan News)

The Libyan cleric, Abdelbasit Ghwaila, who was for some time an Imam at an Ottawa mosque in Canada, has denied ties to the Libyan-British bomber of Manchester Arena, Salman Abedi, defying all those who accused him with links to Abedi to come out with their evidence.

In an interview with the Libyan News, cleric Ghwaila said that he asks those who accused him of being in connection with Manchester bomber to say to the public where, when and how they both met.

“Is there any photos, phone calls, social media communication? Let them come out with it. My challenge stands.” Ghwaila said on Wednesday.

“I am a media figure. I have my own program on a local Libyan TV, I always denounce and condemn the radicalism of IS everywhere in the world and TV records can prove that.” He explained.

Ghwaila indicated that he is always accused of such links to terror and especially to Benghazi ongoing conflict, adding that such accusations are untrue and his stance on Benghazi is that military forces want to take it under control by force.

“They want to conduct a coup on February Revolution and bring Libya back to the oppression and backwardness. It is all done by a Libyan captive in Chad war, Khalifa Haftar, an ignorant stupid person.” Ghwaila added.

Answering a question about being accused of supporting terrorism and “jihad”, Ghwaila told the Libyan News that if all those who fought Gaddafi’s dictatorship are terrorists and wanted for justice by the international intelligence, then NATO must be included as well as it had a big part in the revolution.

“I was urging people to go against Gaddafi’s corrupt regime in 2011 as that regime destroyed Libyans and made them poor and needy, while in Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) operation in 2014, I was helping complete the revolution as Gaddafi loyalists and Zintan tribe wanted to conduct a coup on the revolution and the freedom that was given to Libyans such as peaceful power circulation and free elections, which led to the formation of the General National Congress.” The Libyan cleric explained.

He added that Zintan tribe fighters and Gaddafi loyalists wanted to control Tripoli and scare the residents, adding that they used their control of the airport in Tripoli to smuggle weapons, drugs, money, and outlaws.

“That is why Libya Dawn was launched and I took part in it.” He added.

Ghwaila also told the Libyan News that all the accusations of him being part of terrorist groups and being in connection with Salman Abedi and his Father Ramadan Abedi are just media propaganda, that obliged him to be on the defence.

“I retain my right to pursue legal action against all those who accused me of such falsehood, which caused me and my family harm of different kinds and badly affected my kids on the psychological level.” Ghwaila concluded.

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