Eye On Jihadis in Libya Weekly Update: April 9

On 9 April, IS claimed responsibility for an attack on the town of Fuqaha, in the southern Jufra region. Arriving in as many as 15 vehicles, IS cut off communications to the town, burnt down several houses and executed the head of the municipal guard. Three civilians who had been released from captivity in Ghaduwwa were killed in the incident. In their claim of responsibility, IS said the attack was a part of the “battle of revenge for al-Sham.”

On 1 April, the Misrata Security Directorate reported that its Bomb Disposal Unit had disposed of four tonnes of unexploded ordinances (UXOs) planted by IS in east Sirte in 2016. On 28 March, the Mayor of Sirte, Mukhtar al-Madani, met with representatives of the Danish De-mining Group (DDG) to establish teams to inspect former conflict zones associated with the 2016 IS conflict in order to detected UXOs.
On 28 March, a Libyan news media outlet published the testimony of a civilian kidnapped by IS fighters late last year and held captive in a ‘prison’ on a farm in the Ghaduwwa area before being rescued by security forces. The individual recounts being taken in vehicles through the Harouj area and stopping throughout the journey to bury mines. The captive identified the leader of the IS group that kidnapped them as being a ‘Yemeni emir’ who has vowed to launch more raids on Fuqaha.
On 25 March, the Sabratha Security Directorate reported it had arrested a suspected IS member. The individual is to be prosecuted but no other information is available at this time.

Other Jihadi Actors

On 9 April, unconfirmed reports suggest Abrek Maazak, also known as “Abrek the Egyptian,” has been released from prison and is participating in the clashes in Tripoli. Maazak is a founding member of Ajdabiya Revolutionaries Shura Council, an Islamist brigade formerly linked with Ansar Al-Sharia and the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council. Maazak had been arrested, along with Saadi Abdullah Abukzim al-Noufali, in October 2017 by Misrata security forces.
On 29 March, two al-Qaeda members from Derna were reported to have been arrested in Misrata. The individuals are said to have participated in fighting in Syria with Katibat al-Batar.

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.