On 6 June, locals claim that IS fighters established a fake checkpoint between Zillah and Waddan in the Jufra region and fired upon a vehicle killing two civilians from the Qadhafa tribe. However, in contrast to this version of events, IS published a claim stating that its fighters had killed two LNA soldiers during clashes at an LNA checkpoint in the Jufra district.


Other Jihadi Actors

On 9 May, one of the Derna Mujahadeen Shura Council’s key religious ideologues with alleged connections to al-Qaeda, Omar Refaair Sorour, was killed during a Libyan National Army (LNA) air strike on a residential area in downtown Derna. Sorour is thought to have been one of al-Qaeda’s top recruiters in Libya and was a key figure in the group’s plans to rebuild itself following the demise of IS. Sorour is said to be one of Egypt’s most wanted terrorists in Libya with close ties to Hisham al-Ashmawy, a prominent Egyptian jihadist, and his death has been eulogized by significant al-Qaeda affiliated figures including Moroccan jihadi preacher Omar al-Haddouchi. The announcement of Sorour’s death coincided with reports that Abdulsalam al-Awami, the al-Qaeda Imam in Derna and prominent al-Qaeda leader, Sufian Bin Qammu, were also killed during LNA raids in Derna.


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On 2 June, IS fighters attacked a police station in al-Qanan, 10km south-east of Ajdabiya, killing a civilian and injuring another five. No police were injured or killed despite two police cars being set aflame. The casualties were allegedly a family in a car passing by the raid. Later that day IS claimed responsibility for the attack, which was precluded by a supposed fake claim on behalf of the group. A go-pro camera recovered at the scene by the Libyan National Army’s (LNA) 21 Infantry Brigade has shown that the raid involved 8-9 fighters. Despite an official IS claim, local sources have suggested that incident was fabricated by police as an “IS attack” in an attempt to evade social and tribal responsibility.


Other Jihadi Actors

On 5 June, the Libyan National Army (LNA) spokesperson Ahmed al-Mismari announced that LNA forces had taken control of 75 percent of Derna from the Derna Protection Force (DPF). The day before in a video announcement to the LNA and civilians in Derna, Haftar highlighted to his troops the importance of protecting prisoners of war and warned of the dangers to civilians of Derna in aiding and abetting ‘terrorists”. He also said that the victory of his forces was near in Derna and that once the city is ‘liberated’, the LNA would take total control of the infrastructure and would ensure the safety of residents and buildings by establishing security barriers.


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.

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On 11 May, local sources from Sirte reported that IS fighters were seen moving in the valleys, southeast of the city. A senior official of the Sirte Protection Force said that their force mobilized patrols along the coastal highway at the city’s main exits in anticipation of an attack.

On 14 May, 20 Egyptian Coptic Christians killed by IS in Libya in 2015 were returned back to Egypt. The deceased were transported by Libyan Afriqiyah Airways from Misrata to Cairo. The bodies of the 20 Egyptians and another man, believed to be from sub-Saharan Africa, were discovered near Sirte in October 2017.


Other Jihadi Actors

On 12 May, the Derna Mujahideen Shura Council (DMSC), who currently controls the city Derna, announced it was dissolving itself and changing its name to the ‘Derna Protection Force’. On 15 May, the Libyan National Army’s (LNA) Omar Mukhtar Operations Room claim to have completely captured al-Hila, south of Derna, as a part of on going operations to take the city from the DMSC.


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.

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On 2 May, Islamic State (IS) fighters attacked the High National Election Commission Office (HNEC) building in the Ghout al-Shaal area of Tripoli at 10:10 local time. Following a brief shootout with security guards, two assailants detonated explosive vests. As many as 16 people were killed and more than 19 were injured. Soon after the incident IS claimed responsibility for the attack and identified the attackers as Abu Ayoub and Abu Tawfik.

On 5 May, IS’s al-Naba’ online newsletter claimed that fighters from the group undertook two attacks on the Libyan National Army in the Wahat province, in late April.

On 8 May, IS undertook an SVBIED attack on an LNA controlled checkpoint near Bin Jawwad, 70 km from Ras Lanuf, killing two and injuring four.


Other Jihadi Actors

On 1 May, factions in Misrata eulogised the former leader of the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council (BRSC), Wissam Bin Hamid, after news of his death was officially announced by his family. He was reportedly killed on 10 December 10, 2016.


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.

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On 2 May, at least two suicide bombers blew themselves up while multiple gunmen assaulted the Libyan electoral commission headquarters in Tripoli. According to Libyan officials at least 12 people have been killed and several more injured. IS has claimed responsibility for the attack, naming the suicide bombers as Abu Ayub and Abu Tawfik.

On the 26 April, Sirte security forces found a body in an orange jumpsuit, thought to have been killed by IS. It is unclear if the body was from a recent killing or from when IS controlled the city up until late 2016.


Other Jihadi Actors

On 23 April, reports suggest the al-Qaeda affiliated jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia (AS) were involved in clashes between the Libyan National Army (LNA) and the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC) west of Derna near Wadi al-Arqub. This follows an arrest by the LNA earlier in the month on 12 April of an AS figure from Sirte named Salem Abdul Qaway al-Gaddafi while hiding in the Jufra area.

On 23 and 25 April, LNA sources report that the Derna Mujahadeen Shura Council (DMSC) conducted two operations against LNA positions west and south of Derna respectively, with the latter killing two LNA fighters after their tank was destroyed by a pre-planted mine.


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.

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Other Jihadi Actors

On 12 April, Libyan National Army (LNA) forces arrested an Ansar al-Sharia (AS) figure from Sirte named Salem Abdul Qaway al-Gaddafi while hiding in the Jufra area. On 27 May 2017, AS officially announced that it had disbanded itself. AS’s leadership and fighting force had been decimated due to three years of fighting against the Libyan National Army (LNA). On 14 April, the Libyan National Army (LNA) Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Abdurrazaq al-Nadhouri, issued “final readiness” orders to LNA troops station near Derna heralding an impending assault on the city controlled by the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC). This followed a meeting of the LNA’s top brass at Labraq airbase that included Nadhouri, commander of the LNA’s al-Saiqa Special Forces led by Wanis Bukhamada, commanding officer of the Karama Operations Room Brigadier General Abdul Salam al-Hassi, and other senior LNA military officials.

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.

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On 7 April, local Libyan National Army (LNA) affiliated security forces apprehended a suspected IS member who was allegedly preparing to conduct an attack against LNA forces in the coastal town of Zueitina. This follows an increase in security patrol by the LNA and security forces in the Oil Crescent after multiple suicide vehicle-borne improved explosive device (SVBIED) attacks on LNA checkpoints near Ajdabiya on 9 and 29 of March.


Other Jihadi Actors

On 3 April, following a written question by British MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle the UK government responded that it was “likely” that it had been in communication with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and the 17 February Martys Brigade during the war in Libya in 2011. The response stated that it was in communication with a wide range of Libyans involved in the conflict against the Qaddafi regime forces as a part of its broad engagement during that time.

On 5 April, the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC) claimed to have undertaken a surprise attack on Libyan National Army (LNA) forces in southern Derna, allegedly killing two LNA fighters. These events follow a media statement on 1 April by leader LNA Khalifa Haftar warning that the time given to the DMSC – which occupies and controls the city of Derna – to disarm and lay their weapons has expired and suggests 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.

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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.

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Other Jihadi Actors

On 18 March, the LNA released details of the arrest of 16 alleged “terrorists” in the Kufra region of southern Libya carrying Syrian and Sudanese passports. The LNA claim they are “Jabhat Nusra” veterans of Syria that reached Libya through Sudan via Turkey in order to join al-Qaeda elements in the Sirte area.

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.

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