An ISIS suicide bomb attack which targeted a Misratan court complex in the centre of the city on 4 October, killed four people and wounded several more after ISIS fighters opened fire on the complex and one attacked detonated a suicide belt. Local support of security forces in clamping down against militia members connected with terrorist organizations is rising. It is reported that an ISIS cell was arrested and its armory, including high power explosives, was found in the Ruwaisat area.

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On 28 September, the Attorney General’s Office released the names and affiliations of several ISIS and Ansar al-Sharia connected individuals in Libya. They provided details and photographs of accused, organizational charts, links and routes of travel into Libya and said 800 arrest warrants had already been issued for nearly 200 terrorist attacks in Libya.

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On 26 September, US Africom conducted ‘two precision airstrikes’ against ISIS fighters some 160 kilometres southeast of Sirte, killing an unspecified number of ISIS fighters. On 30 September, the UN’s Joint Drafting Committee declared it had reached the first set of agreements on amendments to the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) in Tunis, as Haftar visited senior officials in Italy and France.

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On 22 September, the US conducted an unmanned airstrike on an ISIS camp about 150 miles south-east of Sirte, reportedly killing 17 ISIS fighters and destroying 3 vehicles. ISIS’s Wilayat Barqa, published a long video last week praising the ISIS suicide car bomb attack in Nawfaliyah and the Fugha checkpoint massacres in August.  

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The DMSC claims to have found the bodies of 5 foreigners abducted by ISIS in March 2015. DMSC forces found the deceased during a combing operation in June 2015 and identified them after scrutinizing equipment and laptops seized in Derna following the defeat of ISIS in the area earlier in the year.

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On 10 September, the commander of the LNA’s Sirte Operation Room declared that the entire coastal strip from Sidra to about 50km east of Sirte. On 8 September, the LNA reportedly defused a bomb attached to the main gas pipeline south of Ajdabiya. BM forces are positioned at the 30km checkpoint east of Sirte, and it is reported that BM arrested two people in a raid last week, fueling tensions with the local population.

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ISIS media claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack on a Libyan National Army (LNA) checkpoint at the entrance of al-Nawfaliya town, on 31 August. It was reported that ISIS units moved in to al-Teysseen, a town 90 kms east of Sirte, on 1 September. They allegedly held an Eid prayer in the local mosque and took positions in the town. The LNA air force launched a series of airstrikes targeting ISIS positions, from Ras Lanuf airstrip on 2 September.

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The Decline of ISIS in Libya and the Levant is a Concern for Tunisia

In an article for the Middle East Eye, Rhiannon Smith and Lachlan Wilson discuss how the military gains against ISIS first in Libya then in the Levant could have a destabilising impact on Tunisia as the thousands of Tunisians fighting overseas for IS begin to return home and look to establish a new IS vanguard in North Africa. This could result in an increased ISIS presence in Tunisia itself or a regrouping of IS cells with Tunisian support in Libya’s deserts and potential hotspots such as Sabratha.

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On 23 August, Islamic State (ISIS) fighters attacked the Libyan National Army (LNA)-controlled al-Fugaha checkpoint in Jufra. Eleven victims were beheaded. On 27 August, Amaq released a new video showing two abductees and featuring several ISIS fighters guarding a checkpoint on a road near Jufra, south of Sirte.

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Islamic State (ISIS) militants attacked the Libyan National Army (LNA)-controlled al-Fogha checkpoint near Jufra this morning, killing at least nine soldiers and two civilians. According to LNA spokesman Ahmed Mismari, the eleven victims were beheaded and many others were left injured. The IS Amaq news agency released a statement this morning claiming the incident and announcing that 21 members of …

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Despite a lack of concrete evidence of connection between the mafia and extremist groups, rumors circulate about cooperation in the illicit economy via fuel and drug smuggling in the Sahara Desert. GNA- aligned al-Bunyan al-Marsus forces continue to conduct anti-ISIS reconnaissance missions in Abu Hadi area, south of Sirte.

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On 29 July, the Sabratha municipal council, with the cooperation of local tribes, mobilized a new security force. Dubbed the ‘anti-Islamic State (ISIS) Operation Room’ the force is intended to police the areas around Sabratha and Mellitah. After raising the anti-ISIS alert level last week, BM forces reported that ISIS activity on the road between Sirte and Jufra continues.

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Misratan-led Bunyan Marsus (BM) forces have raised the level of security readiness in anticipation of an impending Islamic State (ISIS) attack on Sirte from the south and the east. GNA spokesman Mohammed al-Ghosri denied rumours that BM requested military support from the LNA and posited that the LNA’s position in Jufra may actually facilitate the presence and movement of ISIS south of Sirte.

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Actions & Reactions to the Evolution of ISIS in Libya

The Atlantic Council and Eye on ISIS in Libya have published a new interactive timeline that complements our recent publication “The Origins and Evolution of ISIS in Libya.” Track ISIS and other Jihadist Groups’ movements throughout Libya year by year. The site allows you to click on individual links to explore any event in further detail.

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On 28 June, two ISIS captives being held in Misrata, one Libyan and the other Egyptian, were said to have escaped from the military intelligence agency. In Sabri, the LNA discovered the remains of an LNA officer killed by ISIS in an execution video.

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Forces belonging to the GNA-aligned BM forces allegedly captured an ISIS fighter, during an operation to retrieve hijacked fuel trucks south of Sirte. Lone-wolf suicide attack at the LNA controlled Sidra gate checkpoint, kills the assailant and one other.

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