ISIS In Action

In Sirte, there was a lull in fighting for most of last week. Then, on 2 October, after ten early morning airstrikes launched by aircraft from Misrata’s air base academy, the Misratan-led Bunyan al-Marsus (BM) forces attempted a renewed assault on the remaining ISIS stronghold of Hay Al Gizah, a roughly one square kilometre residential area in the northeast of the city. BM forces suffered heavy losses: 8 fighters died and 50 were injured in the assault, although BM forces said that as many as 55 ISIS militants were killed. These figures have not been confirmed. Many ISIS militants also appear to have died during a counterattack by the group toward Sirte port. It seems ISIS fighters are still able to access and enter areas of the city controlled by BM forces.  BM also said its forces were searching for another ISIS unit who were trying to make their escape out of the city.

On 2 October, Jeroen Oerlemans, a Dutch photojournalist, was killed in Sirte. He was reportedly shot in the chest by an ISIS sniper in the Al Zafaraan area of Sirte, a neighbourhood which had supposedly been liberated from ISIS forces. Oerlemans was taken from the Sirte frontline to Misrata hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead.

In Benghazi, ISIS’ media arm continues to publish photo galleries of fighting between jihadists and LNA fighters. The latest batch of photographs released on 29 September showed the use of UAV’s being used to target LNA positions with 120mm mortar shells in the Amarat Al Sinya district.

A weekly update of ISIS’s actions, the Western response, and developments pertaining to Libya’s other militias is available by subscribing here.  To read about Western countries’ responses to ISIS in Libya this week, click here. To read the Eye on ISIS in Libya Team’s blog post about the actions of other jihadi actors, click here. And to read their explanation of the developments within the anti-ISIS Coalition of Libyan militias, click here.

To read all four sections of this week’s Eye on ISIS in Libya report, click here. To subscribe to receive this report weekly into your inbox, sign up on the subscribe page.

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Barak Mendelsohn comes on the show to discuss his new book, The al-Qaeda Franchise: The Expansion of al-Qaeda and Its Consequences. Some of the topics covered include:

  • How organizations expand
  • Why AQ decided to branch out and the strategy behind that decision
  • AQ’s choices on where to expand
  • Case studies on AQ’s different branches

Links

Thanks to Haakon Jahr, TankThoughts, and Raihan Kadir for supporting the show! If you’d like to support the podcast please check out the show’s Patreon page!

The podcast is produced by Karl Morand. If you have feedback you can email podcast@jihadology.net, or find us on Twitter: @JihadPod.

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Download this episode (51MB mp3)

Lorenzo Vidino and Seamus Hughes come on the show to talk about their new report ISIS in America: From Retweets to Raqqa. Some of the topics covered include:

  • Background on the American jihadi scene
  • The demographics of Americans who’ve traveled to join the Islamic State
  • The three roles American Islamic State supporters play on social media

Links:

Thanks to Haakon Jahr, Praecast, Raihan Kadir, and Kaspars Gasuns for supporting the show. You can support the podcast, and get some great rewards, by checking out the show’s Patreon page!

The podcast is produced by Karl Morand. If you have feedback you can email podcast@jihadology.net, or find us on Twitter: @JihadPod.

You can subscribe to the show in iTunes, Stitcher, or with our RSS feed.

Download this episode (18MB mp3)