On 17 January, the Libyan National Army (LNA) claimed to have killed the commander of IS’s desert brigades and the head of its “Soldiers and Military Diwan,” Mahdi Rajab Danqou (aka Abu al-Barakat) in al-Shaati. Danqou’s death remains unconfirmed and it has been suggested that he remains at large. Senior al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) member Abdelmonem al-Hasnawi (aka Abu Tallha al-Libi) and an Egyptian named Abdullah al-Dusouki were also reported to have been killed along with Danqou.

On 17 January, the Libyan Red Crescent branch in Misrata called on the Tunisian government to accept six children whose Tunisian parents fought for ISIS in Sirte in 2016. The children’s relatives have been in direct contact with the Red Crescent to facilitate the transfer. In a joint press conference with the Misrata Municipal Council and al-Bunyan al-Marsous forces, the representative of the Red Crescent, Faisal Jalwal, stated that the process had been taxing and unique in its circumstances.


Other Jihadi Actors

On 17 January, the Libyan National Army (LNA) claimed to have killed senior al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) member Abdelmonem al-Hasnawi (aka Abu Tallha al-Libi) during raids in southern Libya. Al-Hasnawi’s death remains unconfirmed and has been reported on previous occasions, such as in November 2016 following airstrikes. IS-linked al-Mahdi Rajab Danqou (aka Abu al-Barakat), and an Egyptian named Abdullah al-Dusouki were also reported to have been killed in the raid.


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 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.

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On 1 January, the Libyan National Army (LNA) undertook security operations around Ghadduwah, 70 km south of Sebha, that resulted in the rescue of as many as 20 civilians captured by IS during attacks by the group on al-Fuqaha and Tazerbu late last year.


Other Jihadi Actors

On 7 January, security forces arrested a former member of Ansar al-Sharia, Amad al-Ghariyani, aka “al-Zubeir”, in a house in Zawiyya. Al-Ghariyani was handed over to the Special Deterrence Forces (Rada) in Tripoli.


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 27 December, IS’s al-Naba newsletter no. 162 outlined details of the group’s attack on Libya’s Foreign Ministry in Tripoli on 25 December that left three dead and twenty-one injured. The group claimed to have inflicted 31 casualties and vowed to extract revenge on those who fought against IS in Sirte.

On 23 December, thirty-four bodies of Ethiopian Christian nations killed by IS in 2016 were discovered in Sirte.


Other Jihadi Actors

On 24 December, the Libyan National Army’s (LNA) 73 Brigade clashed with Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB) forces in Wadi Dinar, southeast of Bani Walid. Details of causalities remain unknown at this time. However, the Municipal Council of Bani Walid has denied the presence of BDB forces in the area.

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 25 December, four IS fighters undertook a suicide attack on Libya’s foreign ministry in Tripoli, killing three people and wounding at least 21 more. The assault began when a white Hyundai sedan exploded outside the ministry’s back gate, killing the driver. Two attackers died when they detonated their suicide vests on the building’s second floor while another was shot dead by security guards. IS’s Amaq website claimed responsibility for the attack on 26 December.

The three victims have been identified as: Abdulrahman Mazoughi, the spokesperson for the Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade; Ibrahim Sheiby, director of the ministry’s Islamic Affairs Department; and Hend Arnaouti, a ministry employee.

On 20 December, twelve Egyptian children whose parents fought with IS in Sirte were handed over by authorities under the auspices of the Red Crescent to the Egyptian government. The children are aged between 5 and 14 years old.


Other Jihadi Actors

On 19 December, the commander of the Libyan National Army’s Jabal al-Akhdat Military Region claimed that several “extremists” undertook a suicide bombing on the Port of Benghazi. Security forces responded and arrested multiple assailants. The affiliation of the attackers has not been disclosed.

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 13 December, the Rajban Security Directorate claimed to have discovered leaflets by IS threatening to undertake attacks and bombings in Rajban and Zintan. The targets listed include local Security Directorates, police stations, officials and security heads.


Other Jihadi Actors

On 17 December, heavy clashes occurred between Libyan National Army (LNA) forces and Derna Protection Force (DPF) remnants in eastern Derna. According to the spokesperson for the LNA’s 73 Infantry Brigade the fighting was most violent between the two opposing groups in over a month, with at least three LNA fighters killed.

On 11 December, the Benghazi Defence Brigade (BDB) took control of a checkpoint in Abu Grein, some 120 km west of Sirte.


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 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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Arabic:

al-Qā’idah in the Islamic Maghrib: “Rejecting American Allegations: Denying Any Organizational Link To Those Killed Amongst the Martyrs in the Treacherous American Raid in the al-‘Awaynāt Region of Libya”

English translation:

al-Qā’idah in the Islamic Maghrib: “Rejecting American Allegations: Denying Any Organizational Link To Those Killed Amongst the Martyrs in the Treacherous American Raid in the al-‘Awaynāt Region of Libya” (En)

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Source: Telegram

To inquire about a translation for this statement for a fee email: azelin@jihadology.net

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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