Eye On Jihadis in Libya Weekly Update: January 15

On 7 January, the Tripoli-based Special Deterrence Forces (Rada) released information on individuals suspected of participating in and orchestrating recent IS attacks against the National Oil Corporation, High National Elections Councils, the Foreign Ministry in Tripoli, the Misratan Court House, and the assault on al-Fuqaha. The suspects are said to travel disguised as women with forged IDs. Rada indicated that the individuals are linked to the group’s presence in Sebha, Ghadduwa, and Umm al-Aranib.

On 8 January, Interior Minister Fathi Bashaga commented to BBC Arabic that IS is taking advantage of the current security vacuum and operating freely in the greater Tripoli region. This was followed on 10 January by unconfirmed reports suggesting Rada had arrested two IS fighters in Tripoli’s Four Seasons hotel.

On 9 January, security forces in Derna uncovered 50 bodies in a mass grave in the al-Fatah area of Derna. The body of the former leader of IS in Libya, Abu Nabil al-Anbari (also known as Abul Mughirah al Qahtani or Abu Yazan al-Humairi), is reported to be among the recovered bodies. Al-Anbari was killed by a US airstrike in mid-November 2015.

A weekly update of IS’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 IS in Libya this week, click here, and to read about the developments within the anti-IS Coalition of Libyan militias, click here. To read all four sections of this week’s Eye on IS in Libya report, click here.