Check out my new ‘Policy Watch’ for the Washington Institute: “Manchester Attack Highlights Foreign Fighters in Libya”

After Libyan British jihadi Salman Abedi killed twenty-two people in Manchester earlier this week, a friend of his noted that he had just returned from a three-week trip to Libya only days before the bombing. Although British investigators have yet to uncover or disclose publicly that the twenty-two-year-old suspect joined the Islamic State or received training while in Libya, his brother reportedly admitted that they were with IS following his arrest earlier today in Tripoli. In addition, IS has claimed responsibility for the bombing, and the French government has since revealed that Abedi traveled to Syria as well, raising concerns that the attack was the group’s first directed operation from Libya into Europe. If so, it reiterates the dangers of foreign fighter training abroad. It also puts the spotlight on the flow of foreign fighters to Libya, which many have understandably ignored due to the even larger flows seen in Iraq and Syria.

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