Eye On Jihadis in Libya Weekly Update: April 3

On 29 March, IS 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. A fuel tanker passing by at the same time allegedly compounded the explosion. The following day IS’s media arm claimed responsibility for the attack, identifying the suicide bomber as Abu Qodamah al-Sayeh.
On 30 March, internal security forces undertook a raid on a farmhouse on the outskirts of Ajdabiya, arresting two people thought to be members of an IS sleeper cell and discovering a large cache of explosives, ammunition, firearms, and materials for producing IEDs.
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 IS’s militant presence in Libya. Ordered by PC President Fayez al-Serraj – who is the commander in chief of the Government of National Accord (GNA) aligned army – the operation will be undertaken by the Anti-Terror Force. The operation has been announced as covering from the 60km checkpoint in eastern Misrata through to the outskirts of Bani Walid, Tarhouna, Misallata, Khoms and Zliten. No other details have been given at this time.

Other Jihadi Actors

On 1 April, in a media statement, Libyan National Army (LNA) leader Khalifa Haftar warned that the time given to the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC) – who occupies and controls the city of Derna – to disarm and lay down their weapons has expired, suggesting that major clashes in Derna could start at any time.

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.