ISIS

Our archive of political and security incidents relating to Islamic State activity in Libya

10 July – 16 July: ISIS release eulogy for its media officer in Libya

On 11 July, ISIS released its al-Naba newsletter no 190, which featured a eulogy for ISIS Libya’s media officer. On 9 July, the Shahat CID arrested a suspected ISIS member, Ayoub Salah Abdul Aziz al-Alsoinai. On 9 July, the commander of the PFG denied reports that there was an attack by ISIS at the gate of Zilla oilfield.

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3 July – 9 July: ISIS in Libya release video “And the Best Outcome Is for the Righteous”

On 6 July, ISIS Libya released a video renewing their pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. On 4 July, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was “worried” that jihadist fighters were travelling to Libya from Syria. On the same day, EUROPOL warned that Islamist extremist are attempting to get to Libya following the collapse of ISIS in the Levant. On 4 July, security forces in Sirte allegedly arrested a suspected ISIS member.

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12 June – 18 June: LNA and ISIS clash over two days near Harouj

On 17 June, LNA forces claimed they observed ISIS elements between Sirte and Saddada. On 12, 14 and 15 June, clashes between LNA and ISIS fighters occurred in the Harouj mountains. On 14 June, ISIS released an Amaq report claiming to have killed fifty LNA fighters. On 15 June, ISIS claimed IED attack targeting LNA forces near Tmassah. On 11 June, security forces stopped two migrants on suspicion of being members of ISIS. On 8 June, the Algerian army fired upon a suspected ISIS armed group as they approached the boarder.

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5 – 11 June: ISIS suspected of being involved in IED attack targeting police in Derna

On 3 June, ISIS is suspected of undertaking an attack on the al-Fuqaha gate. On 4 June, ISIS is suspected of being involved in an IED attack in Derna. On 8 June, BAM spokesperson stated that ISIS sleeper cells were observed in the Garabulli district east of Tripoli. On 10 June, a suspected ISIS member was arrested in the Shabia area of Sirte. On 9 June, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian suggested that ISIS was resurgent in the Fezzan.

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29 May – 4 June: ISIS attacks LNA checkpoint in Fuqaha area

On 27 May, Misrata security forces undertook a raid in Abu Grein, arresting alleged ISIS supporter Faris Belhaj. On 28 May, the Misratan Central Counter-Terrorism Force arrested seven alleged ISIS members in Abu Grein. On 28 May, ISIS was observed south of Sirte. On 30 May, ISIS published a second set of “Diary of a Mujahedeen” photos. On 3 June, ISIS claimed to have attacked the LNA) Checkpoint 400 in the Fuqaha area. On 3 June, ISIS claimed responsibility for the two vehicle-borne IEDs attacks in Derna conducted on 2 June.

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15 May – 21 May: ISIS attacks a LNA checkpoint near Zilla

On 20 May, the SPF claimed to have intercepted communications of ISIS fighters planning to undertake a assault on Sirte. On 18 May, ISIS fighters attacked a LNA checkpoint near Zilla. On 17 May, ISIS released its al-Naba newsletter no. 182, which featured a report on the group’s raid on Ghadduwa. On 13 May, ISIS published photos of the group’s members daily lives in the Fezzan.

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8 May – 14 May: ISIS conducted an attack on the town of Ghadduwa

On 9 May, ISIS conducted a daylight attack on the town of Ghadduwa. On 9 May, ISIS released its al-Naba newsletter no 181 that featured as its cover and main article the group’s 4 May attack. On 12 May, UK-based tabloid the Sunday Express reported that British military officials believe ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been hiding in Libya. On 14 May, the Sabratha Operations Room claim suspected ISIS member Safwan Abdul Majid was killed in an LNA airstrike in Zawiyya.

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1 May – 7 May: ISIS attack LNA camp in Sebha

On 4 May, ISIS claimed an attack against the LNA’s 160 Brigade Jabril Baba training camp in Sebha. On 25 April, the GNA MoI arrested Yasser Saleh Khalifa al-Majri for his alleged membership to ISIS. On 25 April, ISIS fighters attacked the home of a LNA supporter, Khaloukh Massoud, in Ghadduwa.

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24 April – 1 May: Baghdadi sees Africa as promising territory for ISIS and praises Fuqaha attack

On 29 April, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appeared in a video for the first time in five years. In his message, Baghdadi said that he sees Africa as an important location for the group’s future operations. He said that ISIS could be effective in Libya despite losing Sirte in 2016. He called on ISIS fighters in Libya to carry out a war of attrition and praised the recent ISIS attacks against the town of Fuqaha, in Libya’s central region, saying they were in revenge for ISIS’s defeat in al-Baghuz, Syria.

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10 April – 16 April: GNA-aligned forces arrest ISIS member in Tripoli

On 13 April, the GNA Ministry of Interior announce the arrest of ISIS member Anas Abrik Zouki. On 11 April, ISIS claim to have killed six LNA fighters in Ghadduwa, in south-western Libya. On 11 April, ISIS released its Naba newsletter no. 177 , which included details on the group’s recent attacks on Fuqaha and Ghadduwa.

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20 March – 26 March: Rada arrest notable ISIS fighter in Ras Ajdir

On 22 March, Rada arrested a notable ISIS fighter from Sirte, Ahmed Masoud Ammari, On 22 March, a former local security force member thought killed by ISIS was found dead near al-Bartamah. On 21 March, the SPF disposed of three unexploded ordinances suspected of being from when ISIS had control of the city in 2016.

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13 March – 19 March: ISIS spokesman comments on fighters in Libya in new speech

On 18 March, ISIS spokesman released a new speech which includes comments on fighters in Libya. On 13 March, Morocco’s BCIJ arrested a six member terrorist cell, with one of the terror suspects having been previously imprisoned over connections to ISIS in Libya. On 8 March, French newspaper Liberation published an article suggesting that a senior figure of ISIS may have visited Libya in April 2017.

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20 February – 26 February: ISIS member responsible for broadcasting the ISIS radio station “Al-Tawheed” arrested

On 19 February, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, stated that ISIS in Libya was “boosting ties with al-Qaeda.” On 26 February, Tunisian security forces captured ISIS member, Hicham Krouma, who is said to have spent time in Derna. On 26 February, security forces in Sirte arrested ISIS member Ibrahim Mohammed Saleh Al-Qaziri at his home in Sirte.

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9 January – 15 January: Rada release details on suspects involved in ISIS attacks in Tripoli

On 7 January, Rada released information on individuals suspected of orchestrating recent ISIS attacks in Tripoli and the Oil Crescent. On 8 January, Fathi Bashaga suggests ISIS is operating freely in the greater Tripoli region. On 10 January, unconfirmed reports suggesting two ISIS fighters were arrested in Tripoli. On 9 January, the body of the former leader of ISIS in Libya, Abu Nabil al-Anbari, was uncovered in a mass grave in Derna.

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22 – 28 August: ISIS claims attack on Kaam checkpoint

On 23 August, ISIS claimed an attack on the Kaam checkpoint 20 km east of Khoms. Six members of the GNA-affiliated Special Operations Force were killed. The attack was reportedly conducted by three men, one of whom was killed, using automatic rifles and PRGs.

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11 July – 17 July: ISIS suspect arrested in Brega

On 10 July, the LNA Criminal Investigations Department in Brega arrested an individual suspected of being an ISIS fighter. On 10 July, the Special Deterrence Forces (Rada) fighters raided the house of a suspected ISIS member in Tripoli. However, on 11 July Rada said that the assailant was not linked with ISIS.

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20 June – 26 June: ISIS kidnap two LNA officers near Zallah and Waddan

On 26 June, ISIS fighters kidnapped two Libyan National Army (LNA) officers while they participated in a social gathering in the desert area between Zallah and Waddan. The officers were identified by their military IDs. In the most recent edition of their digital newspaper, al-Naba, ISIS claimed to have undertaken two attacks on LNA checkpoints near […]

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6 June – 12 June: ISIS kill two at a checkpoint in Jufra

On 6 June, local sources claim that ISIS fighters established a fake checkpoint between Zillah and Waddan in the Jufra region and fired upon a vehicle killing two civilians. However, in contrast to this version of events, ISIS published a claim stating that its fighters had killed two LNA soldiers during clashes at an LNA checkpoint in the Jufra district.

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30 May – 5 June: ISIS attack al-Qanan police station south-east of Ajdabiya

On 2 June, ISIS fighters attacked a police station in al-Qanan, 10km south-east of Ajdabiya, killing a civilian and injuring another five. No police were injured or killed despite two police cars being set aflame. The casualties were allegedly a family in a car passing by the raid. A go-pro camera recovered at the scene by the Libyan National Army’s (LNA) 21 Infantry Brigade has shown that the raid involved 8-9 fighters.

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23 May – 29 May: ISIS claim responsibility for attacks in Oil Crescent

On 23 May, ISIS claimed responsibility for the two attacks that occurred in the Oil Crescent on May 22 – a suicide vehicle-borne improved explosive device (SVBIED) targeted the Libyan National Army (LNA) 152 Brigade Gate 60, south east of Ajdabiya, while gunmen attacked an LNA checkpoint north of Awjilah kidnapping two guards.

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2 May – 8 May: ISIS fighters attack HNEC in Tripoli and LNA checkpoints in the Oil Crescent

On 2 May, Islamic State fighters attacked the HNEC building in the Ghout al-Shaal area of Tripoli. As many as 16 people were killed and more than 19 were injured. On 5 May, ISIS claimed its fighters undertook two attacks on the LNA in the Wahat province in late April. On 8 May, ISIS undertook an SVBIED attack on an LNA controlled checkpoint near Bin Jawwad 70 km from Ras Lanuf, killing two and injuring four.

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28 Mar – 3 Apr: ISIS SVBIED attack on the southern entrance to Ajdabiya while the PC launch new anti-ISIS military operation

On 29 March, ISIS undertook a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) attack on the southern entrance to Ajdabiya killing 5 people, wounding 6 and damaging at least 6 vehicles. On 2 April, Presidential Council (PC) spokesperson Mohammed al-Sallack announced the launch of a new military operation dubbed Asifat al-Wattan (The Nation’s Storm) with the aim of ending ISIS’s militant presence in Libya.

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31 Jan – 6 Feb: ISIS linked Indian national allegedly held in Libyan jail while multiple clashes occur between LNA and ISIS.

On 30 January, Indian media reported that an Indian national, who is said to have joined ISIS in Libya in 2016, is allegedly being held in a Libyan jail. On 31 January, the LNA claimed two ISIS affiliates had been killed in clashes in Brak al-Shatti. On 2 February, two purported members of ISIS were killed in fighting near Maradah. On 3 February, three alleged ISIS fighters were also killed in clashes near Waha Company’s Dahra oil field.

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13-19 Dec: DMSC Arrests ISIS Members in Derna

On 12 December, DMSC members arrested some alleged ISIS members in Derna including Mahmoud Mohammed al-Souainay. On 14 December, DMSC fighters arrested Souhail Rizk al-Oakley, in al-Maghar area in the centre of Derna, for the second time. On 13 December, reports indicated that the body of a young man which showed signs of being executed was found in Nufaliya, a town east of Sirte.

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6- 12 Dec: Misrata published a video ‘confession’ of an ISIS member

The anti-crime department of Misrata published a video ‘confession’ of an ISIS member who revealed details of the beheading of Egyptian Coptic Christians in 2015. On 10 December, the Derna Mujahideen Shura Council (DMSC) undertook a raid on an ISIS cell in Derna that concluded with the arrest of the entire cell and the death of ISIS member.

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29 Nov -5 Dec: ISIS Reported To Be Regrouping In The Valleys South Of Sirte

On 3 November, Zarouk Asuiti, the head of the activation committee of security services in Sirte, stated he has received information suggesting ISIS is regrouping in the valleys south of the city. The Libyan Air Force are said to be flying Mi-35 helicopters over Nawfaliyah-Bin Jawad area following reports of ISIS activity in the area.

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22-28 Nov: LNA Declares Oil Crescent Closed Military Zone Due to ISIS

Last week, the LNA declared the Oil Crescent to be a closed military zone after a number of ISIS convoys were seen inside Harawah town, between Sirte and Sidra. On 26 November, al-Ghani oil field was ransacked and buildings torched by unknown assailants. The LNA announced it captured Dernawi ISIS fighter Anis Bualjieh Awami last month.

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1 – 7 Nov: LNA post in Jufra attacked

On 4 November, an LNA security post on the road between Jufra and Brak al-Shatti in south-west Libya was attacked by unknown assailants, killing two people. Reports that ISIS fighters still present on the coast east of Sirte.

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24-31 October: ISIS Claims 25 Oct. Attack on LNA Checkpoint Near Ajdabiya

The ISIS Amaq news agency claimed responsibility for the 25 October, attack on the ‘Tisan’ checkpoint south of Ajdabiya, which killed at least 3 LNA fighters and left another two injured. Survivors report that the assailants arrived in 7 vehicles and set the entire checkpoint on fire after seizing the LNA’s firearms. It was reported that on 29 October, ISIS fighters established a temporary checkpoint on the coastal highway 20km east of Sirte. The area in question is considered to be under the control of al-Bunyan al-Marsus (BM) forces aligned with the GNA.

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17-24 October: LNA alleges that Qatar is funneling ISIS fighters to the south of Libya

Sources from the LNA allegedly told UAE based news outlet, Alittihad, that Qatar is transferring ISIS militants to Libya, after major losses in Iraq and Syria. In Misrata the crackdown on Islamist hardliners and suspected ISIS collaborators continues, last week 13 people were arrested connection with terrorism. On October 19, the LNA allegedly arrested a former ISIS member, Anis Bujeela al-Awami, who was hiding in Derna.

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11-17 October: Agreement reached on families of Tunisian ISIS fighters held in Mitiga

On 14 October, Ahmed Ben Salem, the spokesman for RADA Special Deterrence Force based in Tripoli, stated that the group has come to an agreement with Tunisian authorities regarding the extradition of woman and children Tunisian prisoners held in Mitiga Prison. The Tunisian newspaper, Al-Sabah, reported that Ben Salem said the agreement entailed the extradition of twenty-one children.

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4-10 October: ISIS attack on Misratan court kills five, ISIS cell discovered in Ruwaisat area

An ISIS suicide bomb attack which targeted a Misratan court complex in the centre of the city on 4 October, killed four people and wounded several more after ISIS fighters opened fire on the complex and one attacked detonated a suicide belt. Local support of security forces in clamping down against militia members connected with terrorist organizations is rising. It is reported that an ISIS cell was arrested and its armory, including high power explosives, was found in the Ruwaisat area.

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27 Sept – 4 Oct: AG releases warrants for ISIS fighters

On 28 September, the Attorney General’s Office released the names and affiliations of several ISIS and Ansar al-Sharia connected individuals in Libya. They provided details and photographs of accused, organizational charts, links and routes of travel into Libya and said 800 arrest warrants had already been issued for nearly 200 terrorist attacks in Libya.

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20-26 Sept: US Airstrikes Kill 17 ISIS Fighters Near Sirte

On 22 September, the US conducted an unmanned airstrike on an ISIS camp about 150 miles south-east of Sirte, reportedly killing 17 ISIS fighters and destroying 3 vehicles. ISIS’s Wilayat Barqa, published a long video last week praising the ISIS suicide car bomb attack in Nawfaliyah and the Fugha checkpoint massacres in August.  

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5-12 September: LNA and BM reinforce Oil Crescent region against ISIS resurgence

On 10 September, the commander of the LNA’s Sirte Operation Room declared that the entire coastal strip from Sidra to about 50km east of Sirte. On 8 September, the LNA reportedly defused a bomb attached to the main gas pipeline south of Ajdabiya. BM forces are positioned at the 30km checkpoint east of Sirte, and it is reported that BM arrested two people in a raid last week, fueling tensions with the local population.

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30 Aug- 5 Sept: ISIS Claim Car Bomb Killing 4 in Nawfaliya

ISIS media claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack on a Libyan National Army (LNA) checkpoint at the entrance of al-Nawfaliya town, on 31 August. It was reported that ISIS units moved in to al-Teysseen, a town 90 kms east of Sirte, on 1 September. They allegedly held an Eid prayer in the local mosque and took positions in the town. The LNA air force launched a series of airstrikes targeting ISIS positions, from Ras Lanuf airstrip on 2 September.

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August 22-29: ISIS Beheads 11 in attack near Jufra

On 23 August, Islamic State (ISIS) fighters attacked the Libyan National Army (LNA)-controlled al-Fugaha checkpoint in Jufra. Eleven victims were beheaded. On 27 August, Amaq released a new video showing two abductees and featuring several ISIS fighters guarding a checkpoint on a road near Jufra, south of Sirte.

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August 23: ISIS beheads 11 in attack on al-Fogha checkpoint near Jufra

Islamic State (ISIS) militants attacked the Libyan National Army (LNA)-controlled al-Fogha checkpoint near Jufra this morning, killing at least nine soldiers and two civilians. According to LNA spokesman Ahmed Mismari, the eleven victims were beheaded and many others were left injured. The IS Amaq news agency released a statement this morning claiming the incident and […]

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