On 13 March, Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (BCIJ) arrested a six member terrorist cell after conducting raids in the Casablanca area. A statement from the ministry of interior said that one of the terror suspects had been previously imprisoned over connections to IS in Libya.

On 8 March, French newspaper Liberation published an article based on French General Directorate of Internal Security documents and other sources suggesting that a senior figure of IS may have visited Libya for a short period of time in April 2017. The individual, Abu Luqman (Abu Ayub al-Ansari), was appointed the head of the Amniyat – IS intelligence services – in March 2017. It has been alleged that he travelled to Libya in April 2017 to help reorganize the group after their removal from Sirte in December 2016.


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 March, a gang of five men suspected of having connections to Islamic State were arrested as they reportedly attempted in to ‘infiltrate’ Tripoli. Reports suggest three of those arrested were dressed as women.


Other Jihadi Actors

On 6 March, Bosnian security services released a statement indicating that Nusret Imamovic, the country’s most wanted terrorists and one of the most wanted terrorists in the world, had arrived in Libya sometime in February after having escaped Syria where fought along with Jabhat al-Nusrah. Imamovic travelled to Syria in 2013 where he joined the al-Nusra Front.

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 28 February, IS published its al-Naba newsletter no. 171, which featured an article titled “The fate of Sirte is not the fate Derna.” The article is critical of the al-Qaeda aligned groups who occupied Derna along with IS till the latter was expelled from the city in July 2015.


Other Jihadi Actors

On 26 February, al-Qaeda affiliated armed groups mobilized 130km east of Misrata according to Libyan National Army (LNA) spokesperson, Ahmed al-Mesmari. Al-Mesmari claimed the LNA’s Air Force would undertake strikes on their positions.

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 26 February, Tunisian security forces captured IS member, Hicham Krouma, who is suspected of being involved in a several of attacks and assassinations in Tunisia as well as abroad. Krouma is said to have spent time in Derna as well as in Raqqa, Syria.

On 26 February, security forces in Sirte arrested IS member Ibrahim Mohammed Saleh Al-Qaziri, at his home in Sirte. Al-Qaziri is believed to have been responsible for broadcasting the IS radio station “al-Tawhid” in 2015 and 2016.


Other Jihadi Actors

On 25 February, Misratan security forces arrested suspected al-Qaeda member, Ayman Abu Amoud, who is thought to have been involved in the kidnapping of the Jordanian ambassador to Libya, Fawaz al-Itan, in 2014. Abu Amoud had previously been imprisoned in Abu Salim under Qadhafi. In 2011 he joined the 17 February Brigade before moving to the Rafallah al-Sahati Brigade in Benghazi. In October 2015, Abu Amoud was arrested in Benghazi, but was later released as a part of a prisoner exchange. He is said to have also fought with the Ghwell government in Tripoli in 2017 and participated in the latest clashes with 7th Brigade 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 13 February, the Sirte Military Engineering Corps recovered unexploded ordnance left behind by ISIS on the Abu Hadi Road in Sirte. After closing the road for quarter of an hour, the disposal team recovered the explosive and later detonated it.


Other Jihadi Actors

On 13 February, the Libyan National Army’s (LNA) spokesperson Ahmed al-Mismari stated that military operations in Derna had concluded and called upon local citizens to assist in the removal of any jihadist sleeper cells in the city. On 13 February, LNA operations to clear Derna’s old city uncovered the bodies of Derna Protection Force (DPF) members Mohammed al-Marsi (suspected explosives expert) and Yahya Rajab Faleh al-Hasadi.

On 14 February, the Derna Intelligence Service announced that it had arrested suspected terrorist Muatasim Ahmed Bouktaouh. The announcement coincided with the discovery of the body of alleged terrorist, Walid Attia Erheem. On 14 February, the Derna Joint Security Room stated that civilians may start to return to the old city from 17 February, following the removal of the remaining DPF remnants 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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Other Jihadi Actors

On 9 February, the eastern-based interim government aligned with Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) announced the conclusion of military operations in Derna. In a statement, the interim government claimed that terrorists had been completely eliminated from the whole of eastern Libya. On 12 February, the 46 remaining fighters belonging to the Derna Protection Force (formerly the Derna Mujahideen Shura Council) surrendered to the LNA. Amongst those surrendering was Rasheed Abdullah (aka Hafs al-Mauritani, who was the head of the groups “Security Squad” and military commander, and Hafidh al-Dhabea’ (aka Abu Aiyoub).

Over the last week, the following Derna Protection Force members were reportedly killed or their bodies discovered in the Old City of Derna:

  • On 6 February, Ahmed Ali al-Zawi.
  • On 9 February, Osama Omran Badr.
  • On 10 February, Abdul Aziz al-Jibani and Abdel Wahab al-Shaari
  • On 11 February, the spokesman of the Derna Mujahideen Shura Council, Mohammad Idris Mansouri, along with five other members including Mohammad Denqou.
  • On 12, Essam Sa’ad Mansouri, the last emir of the Derna Branch of Ansar al-Sharia was discovered.

On 8 February, local security forces arrest terrorist suspects Kamel Azzouz and his brother in Misrata. The two are suspected of being members of al-Qaeda. The circumstances around the arrests are unclear at this time.


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 31 January, Sirte-based 166 Battalion arrested a suspected leading member of IS in Libya, Khalifa al-Barq, during a raid on his home in Sirte. Unconfirmed reports suggested the operation was undertaken with foreign support, though Sirte officials have denied this.

On 27 January, the Criminal Investigation Agency of Misrata arrested prominent IS member Zakaria Saleh al-Sheikh in the Jebel al-Gharbi District of Misrata. Al-Sheikh had recently escaped from Derna.


Other Jihadi Actors

On 29 January, the Libyan National Army (LNA) arrested al-Qaeda member Alamin Ali Kalfa near Sebha. Kalfa is suspected of being involved is a series of assassinations targeting security officials. This coincides with reports that the LNA has started moving al-Qaeda and IS prisoners captured in and around Sebha to Qarnada prison in Shahat.

On 2 February, LNA forces and the Derna Protection Force (DPF) clashed in the old city area of Derna, leaving several dead. The LNA has stated it expects to announce the removal of the DPF from the area within days and complete the total liberation of 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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On 27 January, a Tunisian government delegation travelled to the Libyan Red Crescent branch in Misrata to complete repatriation procedures for children whose Tunisian parents fought for IS in Sirte. The children have been housed in the Care and Custody unit of the Misrata Red Crescent branch since December 2016.


Other Jihadi Actors

On 27 January, the Libyan National Army (LNA) claim to have killed al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb (AQIM) field commander Adel Ahmad al-Abdali (aka Abu Az-Zubeir al-Libi) during a raid by Deterrence Forces on suspected terrorists in the Hijarah area of Sebha. In the assault, a suspect detonated a suicide explosive device. Al-Abdali has been linked to the Syrian jihadi group Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra.

On 24 January, Anti-Terror Forces in Misrata arrested a terror suspect, Ali Amin, between Wadi Ka’am and Zliten. Amin is believed to have been involved in the murder of Aqeed Naji Awami and is thought to have participated in operations in Derna and Benghazi.

On 27 January, the Criminal Investigation Agency of Misrata arrested terror suspect, Zakaria Saleh al-Sheikh, in Misrata in the Jebel al-Gharbi District. Al-Sheikh had recently escaped from Derna.


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 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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