Samer Al-Atrush Profile picture
Journalist @thetimes. DM open, stock disclaimer. "Stupid and unceremonious"--Yevgeny Prigozhin
Magdi Shalash Profile picture 1 subscribed
Jun 10, 2021 7 tweets 2 min read
Exclusive: After years in hiding, Saif al-Islam Qaddafi is poised to go public imminently as he considers running in elections this December, having conducted outreach to diplomats and journalists thetimes.co.uk/article/gaddaf… Saif al-Islam, who I spoke to by phone to verify his relationship with his political team, will be making a public statement (it will be via an interview with a Western newspaper).
Feb 27, 2021 13 tweets 5 min read
Short thread here on Dmitry Utkin, the commander of the Russian Wagner mercenary force. A picture of this distinguished gentleman appeared on line showing he sports Nazi tattoos.

thetimes.co.uk/article/russia… Image Just off the bat, a spokesman for the litiguous Yevgeny Prigozhin, the owner of Wagner, denies Prigozhin's links to Wagner or Utkin and said my questions prompted a 10 minute Prigozhin rant. ImageImage
Feb 27, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
Details of that drone strike on Juffra had not been fully published. A commander directly involved in the operation said the Emirati officers were in the Pantsir cab when struck. It was operational.
Feb 27, 2021 11 tweets 3 min read
Exclusive details: In 2019 a Turkish drone strike killed Emirati officers in Libya. The UAE then tried to move in an American Patriot battery to Libya, drawing a rebuke from the US.

Russia’s Wagner mercenaries calls the shots in fight for Libya

thetimes.co.uk/article/russia… The Biden administration wants the UAE to end financing the Wagner mercenaries in Libya, who answer only to Moscow and no longer pretend to work with Haftar.
Feb 25, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
Exclusive: Remember that Pantsir, the Russian missile defence system the US extracted from Libya? It ended up in Turkey, under joint US and Turkish custody.

theafricareport.com/68186/libya-ho… The United States had ordered an operation to extract the Pantsir, fearing it could fall into the hands of extremists.Turkey, keen to study the Pantsir in detail, insisted it should take custody of it. Both sought to sway the Libyan government into siding with them.
Jan 27, 2021 7 tweets 2 min read
Exclusive: A Russian Pantsir air defence missile system captured on a Libyan battlefield was flown intact to a US air base in Germany in a covert mission, The Times has learnt.

thetimes.co.uk/article/russia… The operation involved sending a team on a US air force C-17 Globemaster cargo plane to Zuwara airport, west of Tripoli, last June to load the battery and transport it back to the Ramstein base
Jan 26, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
Exclusive interview with Libyan NOC chairman Mustafa Sanallah:

London hub to play central role in Libya's oil expansion, and will award hundreds of millions in consulting and services contracts to British companies

thetimes.co.uk/article/london… It dips every now and then, but production has risen to about 1.3 million barrels a day. Several more fields will be refurbished or go on line by April, adding about 80,000 bpd and raising production to 1.4 million, Sanalla said.
Jan 25, 2021 15 tweets 3 min read
Crazy times, though this pic wasn't from Jan 25 but later. On January 25, no tents were set up. Several thousand protesters converged on Tahrir square and were dispersed at midnight sharp. I'm sure many in retrospect say they saw it coming, but frankly, if you'd spent time in Egypt before that, the idea of a Facebook event revolution was laughable and many of us were busy writing analysis on how there would be no revolution.
Oct 18, 2020 27 tweets 5 min read
A well meaning (and partially true) tweet that nonetheless simplifies a very real problem that Muslim jurists (and counter extremist thinkers) have yet to address properly It's an issue that came to a head with ISIS, which on a daily basis committed unspeakable atrocities in the name of religion. At the time I was particularly interested in how traditional Islamic scholars who denounced those acts would respond.
Oct 1, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
The gist here: a highly repressive and murderous regime that once sheltered Bin Ladin is overthrown in a democratic uprising.

US: great but you're still sanctioned till you give the president a foreign policy victory. *a highly repressive regime overthrown by protesters who faced death and torture* one could add. Including dozens massacred at a protest sit in.
Oct 1, 2020 7 tweets 2 min read
U.S. push for Sudan to recognize Israel falters — and puts Khartoum in a tight spot

washingtonpost.com/world/africa/u… "According to two Sudanese officials with knowledge of the talks, they faltered partly because Sudanese negotiators feared a rushed recognition of Israel, without a large-enough economic relief package to sweeten the deal, could turn popular support against Sudan's ...government"
Sep 28, 2020 5 tweets 1 min read
This wasn't the first subject to lie in a story for the paper. One lied about *not* having taken part in executions, Abu Huzayfah apparently lied about having taken part in them. Ps I haven't witnessed firsthand an execution nor obviously conducted one, but like many reporters who worked on ISIS, can describe them in detail because they featured so often in ISIS propaganda vids.
Sep 26, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
Someone far more knowledgeable than me (hint @AmarAmarasingam @hxhassan etc) would probably have a more categorical answer on Abu Huzayfah, but what are we looking at here?

Is it 1: Canadian authorities have proof he *never* went to Syria and joined ISIS? Or is it 2: This is the best option to charge him with something rather than have him roaming around relatively freely?
Sep 23, 2020 5 tweets 1 min read
LNA says the clashes in Sebha last week with ISIS killed Abu Muath al Iraqi. If true--all such claims should be verified--its pretty huge: Abu Muath was the top ISIS guy for North Africa.

Two Saudis also killed in that incident. There's a fairly lazy school of thought that churns out intermittent stories on ISIS resurgence in Libya... in reality, the org there gets whacked over the head every other day and is in shambles
Sep 23, 2020 6 tweets 1 min read
An important point lost in the noise: there is not, in fact, a deal between GNA/NOC and LNA to restart oil and share revenues. There's a deal between Maiteeq and LNA that's opposed by Central Bank, NOC etc The issue is confusing but gist is: Maiteeq made a deal with LNA whose terms on revenue collection and distribution were certain to be opposed in the West. LNA lifted the blockade.
Sep 18, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj didn’t accept a deal reached between his deputy prime minister and rival military commander Khalifa Haftar to lift an oil blockade, a top aide said, casting further doubt on an imminent resumption of production. Maiteeq said in an interview that he thought Sarraj would embrace the deal, but the senior aide, who can’t be named because of internal policy, denied that in a response to questions.
Sep 15, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
Libya’s Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj is planning to announce his resignation soon to stay in on a caretaker capacity through talks in Geneva scheduled for next month, officials say
bloomberg.com/news/articles/… via @bpolitics By announcing his resignation, he would relieve some of the pressure on himself while setting the stage for his exit after the Geneva talks, two officials said on condition of anonymity to discuss confidential conversations.
Sep 9, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
The flurry of news on a Cairo Libyan delegation is pretty overblown and tiresome. This is a delegation of MPs like Misrata's Mohamed Ruaid and "notables" and businessmen who regularly visit Cairo. No, PM adviser Taj eldin is not with them. It's not a government delegation nor an HSC delegation--it's another "people's delegation" of the sort that's visited before.
Sep 3, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
Some points on this: the Libyan Foreign Bank is owned completely by the Libyan Central Bank. This wasn't exactly the Turkish contention.. almon.co/3e4t via @AlMonitor Turkey didn't need to read about GNA reservations in the press in June over MoU. They were well aware of them as they lobbied Sarraj, who dragged his feet on this, since at least mid 2019
Aug 30, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
A scene I see everyday but still find breathtaking. Evening falls over Marsa, Tunisia Image (In this pic its actually Marsa, Sidi Bousaid and Carthage)
Aug 30, 2020 6 tweets 1 min read
Quite a bit of reporting is badly confusing why the GNA suspended Bashagha and misreading the statement. No, he was *not* suspended for cracking down on protests. He was suspended for having been seen to *encourage* them. You can read the background here

Includes GNA officials basically saying Bashagha had gone rogue.