Eye On Jihadis in Libya Weekly Update: February 6

On 30 January, Indian media reported that the Indian Ministry of External Affairs had received information from Libyan authorities that an Indian national named Tabrez Tambe is being held in a Libyan jail as a prisoner of war. Tambe reportedly fled India in January 2016 to join IS in Libya. The Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad allegedly sent a letter to the Libyan authorities seeking details of his detention but has received no reply.

On 31 January, the Libyan National Army 12 unit in Brak al-Shatti, a town around 60km north of Sabha, claimed that two IS affiliates had been killed in clashes with the LNA and local residents. According to media reports, three men were scouting for food supplies in Brak, but when suspicion was aroused, they shot at an LNA fighter before being chased by another LNA fighter and some local residents. Two of the men were later found dead outside the city.

On 2 February, two alleged IS fighters were killed and two Libyan LNA fighters were injured in clashes near the town of Maradah. On 3 February, three alleged IS fighters were killed in clashes near Waha Company’s Dahra oil field, located between Maradah and Zallah. Two LNA fighters died and another five were injured in the clashes. The LNA media office has stated the recent spate of incidences in the region result from an LNA campaign tracking IS fighters who fled Benghazi and participated in attacks against LNA posts in al-Fughaha in October last year.

Other Jihadi Actors

Last week, the Libyan National Army (LNA) deployed forces from Benghazi and nearby towns to take positions around Derna to prepare an offensive against the Derna Mujahadeen Shura Council (DMSC), which controls the city. The LNA has been besieging the city for several months. The LNA’s Omar al-Mukhtar Operation Room Commander Salem Rifadi asked all citizens to move away from possible targets, indicating that shelling and/or airstrikes may be used in the offensive on targets inside the city.

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, and to read about 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.