On June 18, a Twitter feed associated with Ansar al Sharia in Libya posted a link to a 30 minute audio recording of the group’s weekly radio broadcast covering news and events in Benghazi and elsewhere in Libya. The recording was the 24th such broadcast aired.
Nearly two minutes into the program, the host asked Allah to accept the organization’s first leader, Mohammed al Zahawi, as a martyr. The host then asked Allah to protect and bless Zahawi’s successor, a jihadist known as Abu Khalid al Madani.
In January, al Madani issued Ansar al Sharia’s eulogy for Zahawi. Little else is publicly known about al Madani. Then again, little was known about Zahawi, even though he was much more of a public personality than his successor. For example, Zahawi’s meeting with Osama bin Laden in the 1990s was not publicly acknowledged until after his death.
During the Ansar al Sharia radio broadcast, al Madani said that his group and the ummah (global community of Muslims) would “not be able to cast off our humiliation unless we wage jihad.” This is a standard jihadist motif, harkening back to the glory days when Islamic empires ruled over vast territory. Al Madani continued by saying that Allah’s authority must be reestablished and the world is waiting for the jihadists to liberate the Al Aqsa Mosque from the Jews.