“The problem is the infiltration of extremists,” Nayed said. “The reason the Libyan state did not cooperate with the USA in capturing the killers of my friend Chris Stevens is precisely because that government was infiltrated. How can you expect them to help you when the extremists control the nodes of the state?”
Nayed went on to argue that Washington has fallen for a two-pronged narrative about Libya: That the situation is hopeless, and that the two rival factions in Tripoli and Bayda just need to agree to share the spoils. He’s here to tell them that’s bunk.
“Muslim Brotherhood-associated lobbyists have been pushing this line of ‘two governments that have to discuss things with each other.’ That’s a huge mistake and a betrayal of the values of democracy,” Nayed said. “The guys in Tripoli are basically a bunch of thugs. They’re not partners in the fight against terrorism; they are precisely part of the problem. They are incubating terrorism and using the democratic system to further their ends.”
He said he welcomes the UN-sponsored peace talks that are set to start inside Libya within the next few days. But he cautioned that a unity government “cannot be inclusive of exclusivists or Trojans who are trying to sabotage the Libyan state.”
“That process must not be a process of letting Trojans back into the system whereby they can control the nodes of the state,” Nayed said.
Asked if last week’s attack against the Corinthia Hotel, which has been claimed by the Islamic State’s Tripoli branch, could bring the two governments closer together, Nayed scoffed. The hotel serves as residence to Libyan Dawn Prime Minister Omar al-Hassi, who appears to have been the target of the attack.