Calls in Libya to Prevent Tunisian Arrest Warrant against Muslim Brotherhood Businessman

Abderrahman Kaj, a controversial figure, has been mentioned in numerous lists related to supporting terrorism and extremism in the Arab region

The Libyan Businessmen Council is exerting pressure on the Prime Minister of the Government of National Unity, Abdul Hamid al-Dbeibah, to intervene after Tunisian authorities issued an arrest warrant against the businessman close to Muslim Brotherhood groups, Abderrahman Kaj.

The President of the Libyan Businessmen Council, Rachid Sawani, stated according to the “Libya Middle Gate” website that the step taken by the Tunisian authorities could intimidate Tunisian businessmen from economic dealings with the Tunisian side.

It appears that the decision of the Tunisian authorities is linked to the financial and banking transactions carried out by Kaj in Tunisia, especially his suspicious relationship with some politicians loyal to political Islam.

In a letter from the Libyan Businessmen Council to Dbeibeh, it is mentioned that “the issue does not warrant the issuance of an international arrest warrant, and it could have been possible to correspond with the Libyan government, especially since we have a strong bilateral economic and trade relationship, where it is possible to inquire about any Libyan businessman conducting banking transactions between the two countries”.

Sawani also called on Dbeibeh to form a committee comprising a delegation from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, Economy, Trade, Finance, the Central Bank of Libya, and the Businessmen Council to settle the files of some businessmen facing many difficulties in Tunisia, especially the decision to freeze their accounts.

Over the past years, Tunisia has worked to dry up foreign funding sources for terrorism or associations accused of funding religious extremist activities, and this trend has been reinforced after Tunisian President Kais Saied took exceptional measures on July 25, 2021, and the fall of the ruling system led by the Ennahda Movement.

The personality of Abderrahman Kaj is of interest and raises questions, as his name has been circulated as a financial figure supporting Muslim Brotherhood groups in Libya and abroad, and having relationships with some militias in the western region.

Among the figures abducted in 2014 with his brother “Hassan Al-Ahmar” at Tripoli airport by armed groups opposing them before being released, his name was widely circulated during the war that broke out in 2019 between the Libyan National Army and the militias of the Government of National Accord.

His name was also mentioned on an Egyptian Interpol list for terrorism and involvement in the killing of Coptic workers by ISIS elements in 2015.

Saudi authorities announced the arrest of Kaj while he was traveling to perform Umrah due to his relations with groups described as extremist.

In 2017, Abderrahman Kaj’s name was mentioned on a list sent by the Libyan Parliament to be added to the list of Gulf countries that boycotted Qatar due to its support for terrorism before the Gulf reconciliation. In the Libyan Parliament’s list, Kaj was described as a currency trader and the financial official for funding the activities of the dissolved Dar Al-Ifta and the deposed Mufti, Sadiq al-Gharyani.

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