Although ISIS did not formally exist in Libya, the forces of Operation Libya Dawn, the umbrella group comprising brigades from Misrata and other allied Islamist brigades in the West, were continuing to consolidate their control of the capital. They have seized buildings and facilities across Tripoli, including the US Embassy, and are now in control of all ministries as well as other government buildings. Misratan and Islamist brigades continued to consolidate their dominance in Tripoli and beyond with little real resistance for the time being at least.
Given how Islam is playing a role as a unifying factor, it is also likely that other towns will follow the example of Operation Libya Dawn forces in Tripoli and establish their own revolutionary shura councils, thereby bolstering the Islamist elements in the capital and making a move for Islamic Shari’a compliant governance throughout Libya’s West.
This situation has left Operation Libya Dawn free to rampage through the capital, setting fire to houses, seizing control of buildings and government sites and taking revenge as they see fit. They have presumably been encouraged by Libya’s Grand Mufti, Sheikh Sadiq Al-Ghariani who allegedly urged them this week to extend their rebellion beyond the capital and to “use a firm hand to consolidate the victory that they gained on the battlefield.” Aware that the UK government could detain him for incitement, al-Ghariani has fled Exeter for Doha as of the end of August. His ideological encouragement provided a permissive environment for ISIS recruiting.