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Father of slain IS sympathiser rescues granddaughter from Libya

February 7 - 2017 KHARTOUM
El Laithi Harith Yousif, the father of Aya who joined IS and was killed in Libya, arrives at Khartoum airport on 6 February with his granddaughter (various media)
El Laithi Harith Yousif, the father of Aya who joined IS and was killed in Libya, arrives at Khartoum airport on 6 February with his granddaughter (various media)

The father of a deceased Islamic State (IS) sympathiser returned to Sudan on Monday with his baby granddaughter, who was born in Libya.

El Laithi Harith Yousif, the father of Aya who joined IS last December, arrived at Khartoum airport with his granddaughter Lujein, who is four months old. Aya delivered the baby in Libya before she was killed together with her husband Ahmed Gismul Seed.

The father told the press that Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Service in cooperation with the Red Crescent Society facilitated his travel to Libya and orchestrated “a complex operation” to hand over the baby in Libya, saying they conducted the necessary tests to establish her descent as well as her health and safety.

In Misrata he met with Sudanese twin sisters Abrar and Mannar Abdel Salam, who joined IS and are now held under investigation and interrogation. They told him the story of his daughter’s death and when and how she delivered her baby, he said. Harith Yousif praised the NISS and said he is confident that the security service “would bring the twins back to their family safe and sound”.

Anti-terrorism operations

A member of the NISS sector for anti-terrorism, El Tigani Ibrahim, told the press on Monday that there are operations in the Sudanese-Libyan border areas to prevent elements and affiliates of IS to enter Sudan.

Ibrahim confirmed that since August 2015, four girls have disappeared and investigations revealed that they had travelled to Libya and joined IS in Sirte. There they got married to young Sudanese IS fighters.

In 2015, the Ministry of Interior in Khartoum announced that about 70, mainly young, Sudanese men and women had gone to join the IS franchises, both in Libya and Syria. That number ran up to 137 Sudanese by August 2016, according to the Ministry of Guidance and Endowment. Groups of Sudanese medical students secretly left the country in March, June, August, and September of 2015.

Countering terrorism

Days before US President Barack Obama left office his administration ordered the easing of economic sanctions against Sudan, in recognition of “positive actions” in countering terrorism in Sudan and the region.


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