The British newspaper “The Times” presented documents that revealed that the Palestinian “Hamas” movement took advantage of the chaos of the war in Libya to create a weapons smuggling network, trying to transfer anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles to Gaza.
The newspaper’s report indicated that requests from the Hamas leadership arrived via encrypted emails, according to court files.
Hamas’ representative in Libya, Marwan Al-Ashqar, used to respond by using the messages included in the texts of the e-books, which were then encrypted and e-mailed to his superiors.
According to “The Times” report, Al-Ashqar, who was not officially recognized by the Libyan authorities as an envoy, was arrested along with three other Palestinians in 2017 after GNA Interior Ministry questioned the militants, who were visiting his offices in Tripoli, while they were indicted by the Libyan court after two years on charges of smuggling and possession of weapons, then sentenced to ten years imprisonment. Hamas denied the allegations against the movement.
According to court records reviewed by the newspaper, “Al-Ashqar” admitted that he received orders to purchase weapons for “Hamas” leaders in 2011.
Hamas was seeking to take advantage of the war in Libya, as Al-Ashqar moved to Tripoli after the militants suffered a series of defeats, and ran a company there as a cover, while the Libyan authorities at the time did not agree to his request to establish an office for Hamas.