On 9 January, Tripoli’s Special Deterrent Force (Rada) announced the arrest of two IS fighters – Mohammed Abdullah Balah (Abu Ayoub) and Siraj Khalifa Ali Abdul Rahman al-Jahawi (Abu Huraira) – who confessed to being responsible for the failed Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) bombing in the al-Dreibi District in southwest Tripoli on 6 January. Rada said it received a report about a bag of explosives in al-Dreibi area, and sent an explosives expert to deal with it. The device was reportedly a howitzer tank shell connected to a lightning wire and a mobile phone.
On 8 January, the President of the Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria, Dr. Ona Ekhomu, in a media interview suggested the Nigeria government should be cautious of IS fighters masquerading as Nigerian returnees. Ekhomu, a security expert, has said that as a part of the repatriation efforts the Nigerian government must do the “responsible thing” given “there is a high probability that a few of them may be IS fighters escaping from Libya, or coming to Nigeria to execute a possible terrorist plot.” Moroccan officials are also concerned about repatriating its citizens who are currently trapped in Libya in case some of those who return have been recruited to IS or other extremist groups.
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