Almost six months after Lebanese authorities launched a wide-reaching crackdown on militant groups in Tripoli, two Islamist figures have risen to prominence commanding a group of armed men in the city’s Bab al-Tebbaneh district.

Recent press reports have said that Shadi al-Mawlawi and Osama Mansour have been running a militant group based from a Bab al-Tebbaneh mosque amid the absence of Tripoli’s traditional militant commanders, who were either arrested or fled into hiding following the imposition of a security plan for the city in April 2014.

“These reports are true. Some have reported that the group is formed of dozens of militants, and others have reported that the number of militants stands at around 300,” former Tripoli MP Mustafa Allouch said. […]