On 8 December, IS executed six of the ten men they abducted from the town of Fuqaha on 28 October after their demands to release their comrades was rejected by the Libyan National Army (LNA).

On 3 December, IS released a eulogy for Abu Abdallah al-Ansar in its “Caravan for Martyrs”. Al-Ansar was a member of ISIS ‘s branch in eastern Libya, Wilayat Barqah.


Other Jihadi Actors

On 6 December, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) released a statement denying any links to those killed in the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) air strikes on 29 November near al-Uwaynat.

On 29 November, AFRICOM, in coordination with the Government of National Accord (GNA), conducted an airstrike killing eleven AQIM members and destroying three vehicles near al-Uwaynat, close to the Algerian border, in southern Libya.


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.

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On 1 December, the Libyan National Army arrested five IS members in Ubari. The arrests were made while security forces patrolled the road between Ubari and Ghat. The five arrested were described as being of African decent.

On 29 November, IS released its Naba magazine No. 158. In the issue it detailed the group’s attack on the Libyan town of Tazirbu and threaten to undertake a “new approach” in their campaign against Libyan cities.


Other Jihadi Actors

On 29 November, US Africa Command (AFRICOM), in coordination with the Government of National Accord (GNA), conducted an airstrike killing eleven al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) members and destroying three vehicles near al-Uwaynat in southern Libya.

Local Tuareg communities have responded angrily to the strike, claiming some of those killed were not members of al-Qaeda but were former members of the Tiniri/Wadi Janub brigade in al-Uwaynat.

Libyan media outlets suggest that one of those killed in the airstrikes was Mussa Ala Toni al-Tarqqi, a former al-Bunyan al-Marous fighter who participated in the fighting against IS in Sirte in 2016. Al-Tarqqi was reported to be a prominent member of AQIM and a resident of the Sharab neighborhood of Ubari. He is said to have been involved in arms smuggling and other activities assisting AQIM financing.

On 1 December, a Benghazi Defense Brigade convoy of 40 vehicles was observed driving along the coastal road from Tawergha to Misrata.

The Benghazi Defence Brigade was formed in May 2016 to support the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council retake the city of Benghazi from the Libyan National Army (LNA). The group is comprised of anti-LNA army and police personnel as well as militants with diverse political backgrounds. The group includes hardliner Islamists. It was involved in clashes with the Misratan Third Force against LNA forces in southern Libya in 2017 and took part in Ibrahim Jadhran’s assault on the Oil Crescent in 2018.


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.

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On 23 November, Islamic State (IS) fighters launched an assault on the town of Tazirbu, an oasis in Libya’s south-east some 250km north-west of Kufra, leaving at least 8 people dead, 11 wounded and 17 kidnapped. Arriving in as many as 15 vehicles the assailants took over a police station for a brief period before withdrawing towards the al-Harouj mountains in Central Libya.

A joint force from the Libyan National Army (LNA) pursued the attackers and engaged them in Wadi al-Hatab, near Zillah. The clashes resulted in 12 IS fighters being killed and three abductees being released.

On 25 November, IS’s Amaq News Agency claimed responsibility for the incident, stating they had killed 29 LNA soldiers and captured multiple police officers, including two Libyan National Army officers. In its statement, IS suggested it fighters targeted particular individuals.

In contrast, the LNA denied that any of its members had been killed and claimed to have killed 18 “terrorists,” destroyed two of their armed vehicles and seized another two.

On 24 November, Special Deterrence Forces (RADA) arrested suspected IS leader Adel Adulhamid in Bani Walid after several hours fighting. Adulhamid is thought to have been involved in human fuel smuggling and returned to Bani Walid after IS lost control of Sirte in late 2016.


Other Jihadi Actors

On 17 November, the Libyan National Army (LNA) undertook three airstrikes targeting an “al-Qaeda-linked group” suspected to be the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB) at Sadada, near Misrata. The LNA claims the group were behind several recent attacks and that a significant number of vehicles and weapons were destroyed during the strikes.

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.

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On 19 November, IS members established a checkpoint along the Sirte-Benghazi coastal road in the Wadi al-Hunaywah area near Sirte. Locals reported that two cars bearing IS banners and masked men blocked the road and undertook identity checks.


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.

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IS has attempted to negotiate a prisoner exchange with Fuqaha residents according to multiple Libyan news outlets. Local sources report that the jihadist group will return 10 people it kidnapped during its raid on the town on 29 October for the release of two of its members. Details regarding the identities of the two IS operatives have not been released.

On 9 November, security forces in the al-Manshia area of Sebha allegedly captured IS fighters. Those arrested are reportedly connected to human and drug trafficking, as well as robbery.


Other Jihadi Actors

On 10 November, Misrata local security forces arrested two individuals connected to the Ajdabiya Revolutionaries Shura Council, an Islamist brigade formerly linked with Ansar Al-Sharia and the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council.

On 4 November, the Anti-IS Operations Room claimed to have arrested a member of the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council following clashes with the Anas Dabbashi Brigade in Sabratha last week.


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.

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On 3 November, IS fighters clashed with the Libyan National Army’s 128th Battalion near the al-Mabrouk oilfield south of Sirte. No causalities were reported.


Other Jihadi Actors

On 4 November, the Libyan National Army spokesperson, Brigadier General Ahmed al-Mesmari, stated that investigations into al-Qaeda affiliated Egyptian terrorist Hisham Ashmawi were ongoing. The spokesperson also denied that Ashmawi had been transferred to Egypt.

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.

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On 20 September, the Libyan National Army’s (LNA) 128th Battalion and the Tariq Ibn Ziyad Brigade uncovered an IS camp in a cave near Harawah village, east of Sirte. During the operation security forces cleared multiple vehicle borne improvised explosive devices.

The operation was conducted following information provided by Masoud Belhassen al-Nawfali (aka Jema’a Masoud Al-Hassan Al-Qarqa’i), who was captured by the 128 Brigade on October 14. Al-Nawfali is thought to be the leader of IS in the Nawfaliyah area and believed to have been involved in attacks on LNA positions in and around the Nawfaliyah and Awjlah areas.

On 16 October, local security forces undertook a raid in Bani Walid, arresting three suspected IS fighters.


Other Jihadi Actors

On 21 October, the Commander of the Training Wing of the Derna Police Institute, Colonel Faraj Mohammad Daoud al-Hassi, survived an assassination attempt by Derna Protection Force remnants outside his home in eastern Derna. Media outlets published photos that show al-Hassi with an apparent gunshot would through his hand.

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.

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Throughout last week the Sirte Protection Force (SPF) was on a state of alert following reports of the presence of IS fighters near Sirte. Several days before, the SPF posted photos of their manned checkpoints on the outskirts of the city.


Other Jihadi Actors

On 8 October, the spokesperson for the Libyan National Army (LNA), Ahmed Mesmari, stated that the Libyan National Army (LNA) had captured former Egyptian Special Forces officer turned Egyptian jihadist, Hisham al-Ashmawy, in the al-Maghar neighborhood of Derna. Al-Ashmawy was captured with a suicide vest on, which he had failed to detonate. Photos published by the LNA show al-Ashmawy bloodied and receiving treatment following his arrest. Following his capture, Egyptian security officials have called for his extradition.

Described by some security officials as Egypt’s most wanted man, Al-Ashmawy (also known as Abu Omar Al-Muhajir) joined the Egyptian Armed forces in the 1990s and became a member of the Egyptian Special Forces in 1996, before eventually being expelled from the military for his radicalization. He then joined a north Sinai militant group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis. However, when this group pledged its allegiance to IS in July 2014, Ashmawy split from the group and established his own group that became linked with al-Qaeda. Al-Ashmawy led the al-Qaeda front groups al-Mourabitoun and later Jama’at Ansar al-Islam.

Al-Ashmawy is thought to have been using Derna as a safe haven from which to springboard into Egypt to launch attacks. Al-Ashmawy is accused of several attacks in Egypt including an assassination attempt on then Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim in 2013 and killing a leading Egyptian public prosecutor by car bombing in 2015.

Al-Ashmawy was captured along with the wife and sons of Omar Rifai Sorour, the alleged Mufti of the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council who was killed in June of this year. He was also arrested with Bahaa Ali and Merai Abdefattah Khalil Zoghbi. Zoghbi is listed by the UN Security Council and Interpol as a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), al-Qaeda, and Ansar al-Islam. The jihadist is said to have escaped from Italy to Turkey in 2009 where he was provided political asylum. He is thought to have returned to Libya in 2011, fighting with LIFG members amongst the Rafa’a al-Sahti Brigade that would eventually become part of Ansar al-Sharia in Libya.


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.

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On 30 September, the Sirte Protection Force stated that IS fighters have been observed along the coast road between Wadi al-Ahmar and Umm al-Qandil, 90 and 110 km east of Sirte respectively. Security forces have allegedly been dispatched to patrol for the group south of the Wadi al-Ahmar region.


Other Jihadi Actors

On 25 September, an attempt to assassinate the Dean of the Derna Municipality, Abdel-Moneim al-Ghaithi, was thwarted following the identification and dismantling of an Improvised Explosive Devise close to his room in the Pearl Hotel. Derna Protection Force (DPF) remnants are suspected of being responsible for the incident.

On 26 September, the Libyan National Army (LNA) stopped a woman at a checkpoint near Zawiyat al-Urqub in Derna after she was founded to be carrying weapons, money and other documents for DPF remnants in the city.


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.

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