Skip to main content

Report: Tunisian Islamist leader captured in Libya

From Salma Abdelaziz. Yousuf Basil and Jamie Crawford, CNN
December 30, 2013 -- Updated 1628 GMT (0028 HKT)
This file photo shows Seifallah Ben Hussein Mokni (R), also known as Abu Iyadh, leader of Tunisian Salafists at a meeting last year in Tunisia.
This file photo shows Seifallah Ben Hussein Mokni (R), also known as Abu Iyadh, leader of Tunisian Salafists at a meeting last year in Tunisia.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Tunisian state media says Libyan and American forces captured Abu Iyadh
  • A Pentagon spokesman say U.S. forces were not involved
  • Ansar al Sharia in Tunisia denies the Islamist group leader's arrest

(CNN) -- The leader of a Tunisian militant Islamist group was arrested in Libya on Monday, state media reported, citing a security source.

Libyan and American forces captured the militant leader, Tunisie Agence Presse reported. But the United States denied any involvement in the reported arrest of Seifallah Ben Hussein Mokni, who is also known as Abu Iyadh and heads Ansar al Sharia in Tunisia.

"Contrary to media reports, U.S. forces were not involved in any operations involving Ansar al Sharia leader Abu Iyadh today in Libya," Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John F. Kirby told CNN.

Would e-mails reveal Benghazi truth?

The Tunisian state media report accused Ansar al Sharia in Tunisia of ties to political assassinations in the country.

Ansar al Sharia in Tunisia denied through its official Twitter account that its leader had been arrested in Libya. The statement said that the "lying media" reported the "false rumors" to "play a dirty game" and influence its members to respond physically.

Ansar al Sharia in Libya, another Islamist militia group, was believed to be involved in the 2012 U.S. Consulate attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0242 GMT (1042 HKT)
Successful launch of lunar orbiter, seen as a precursor for a planned mission to the surface of the moon, marks significant advance for the country's space program.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1915 GMT (0315 HKT)
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot while standing guard at Ottawa's National War Memorial, was known for his easygoing manner and smile.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT)
Non-stop chatter about actress' appearance is nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 2208 GMT (0608 HKT)
CEO's 30-min Putonghua chat is the perfect charm offensive for Facebook's last untapped market.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0345 GMT (1145 HKT)
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2058 GMT (0458 HKT)
Air New Zealand's new 'Hobbit' safety video stars Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, elves and orcs.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1414 GMT (2214 HKT)
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0333 GMT (1133 HKT)
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 1748 GMT (0148 HKT)
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0959 GMT (1759 HKT)
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 1021 GMT (1821 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT