On 18 February, Tunisian Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui is reported to have stated in an address at the Munich Security Conference in Germany that ISIS will attempt to return to Libya following its defeat in Iraq and Syria.

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On 10 February, three LNA officers belonging to the 165th Brigade were injured in a VBIED attack on their position at the 90km checkpoint, 60 km east of Sidra. The driver of the vehicle is suspected of being an ISIS fighter.

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On 30 January, Indian media reported that an Indian national, who is said to have joined ISIS in Libya in 2016, is allegedly being held in a Libyan jail. On 31 January, the LNA claimed two ISIS affiliates had been killed in clashes in Brak al-Shatti. On 2 February, two purported members of ISIS were killed in fighting near Maradah. On 3 February, three alleged ISIS fighters were also killed in clashes near Waha Company’s Dahra oil field.

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On 27 January, a cooperative effort began between the al-Bunyan al-Marsous Security Directorate of Sirte and the Red Crescent of Misrata to recover the bodies of ISIS fighters buried in Sirte’s neighborhood 600 and 656.

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On 15 January, Ghanaian security forces arrested three returnees from Libya planning a terrorist-related attack. One of the suspects, Ishmael Ali Musa, is alleged to have connections to ISIS in Libya.

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On 11 January, a would-be ISIS bomber surrendered himself to al-Bunyan al-Marsous (BM) forces after defusing the bomb he was instructed to detonate. On 14 January, BM forces arrested an Egyptian who was allegedly hiding and transporting ISIS fugitives out of Sirte.

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On 9 January, Tripoli’s Special Deterrent Force (Rada) announced the arrest of two ISIS fighters who confessed to being responsible for the failed Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) bombing in the al-Dreibi District in southwest Tripoli on 6 January.

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Photos of GNA affiliated forces show the continual removal of ISIS IEDs from the Sirte area, while there are reports of ISIS-sympathetic telegram accounts accusing the BRSC of having a deal with the Libyan National Army.

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On 24 December, a mass gave thought to contain the bodies of as many as twenty ISIS fighters was uncovered in the al-Manara neighborhood of Sirte following a report from a local resident. Al-Manara saw the most intense clashes between ISIS and the al-Bunyan al-Marsous forces prior to the former’s defeat in the city in December 2016.

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On 12 December, DMSC members arrested some alleged ISIS members in Derna including Mahmoud Mohammed al-Souainay. On 14 December, DMSC fighters arrested Souhail Rizk al-Oakley, in al-Maghar area in the centre of Derna, for the second time. On 13 December, reports indicated that the body of a young man which showed signs of being executed was found in Nufaliya, a town east of Sirte.

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The anti-crime department of Misrata published a video ‘confession’ of an ISIS member who revealed details of the beheading of Egyptian Coptic Christians in 2015. On 10 December, the Derna Mujahideen Shura Council (DMSC) undertook a raid on an ISIS cell in Derna that concluded with the arrest of the entire cell and the death of ISIS member.

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On 3 November, Zarouk Asuiti, the head of the activation committee of security services in Sirte, stated he has received information suggesting ISIS is regrouping in the valleys south of the city. The Libyan Air Force are said to be flying Mi-35 helicopters over Nawfaliyah-Bin Jawad area following reports of ISIS activity in the area.

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Last week, the LNA declared the Oil Crescent to be a closed military zone after a number of ISIS convoys were seen inside Harawah town, between Sirte and Sidra. On 26 November, al-Ghani oil field was ransacked and buildings torched by unknown assailants. The LNA announced it captured Dernawi ISIS fighter Anis Bualjieh Awami last month.

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On 15 November, the Libyan National Army (LNA) conducted two airstrikes against an ISIS target in the desert 90km south of Harawah, southeast of Sirte. On 17 November, the US reportedly conducted a drone strike against ISIS targets in the desert south of Sirte, reportedly with success, but no information has yet been officially released.

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ISIS established temporary checkpoints 70 km south of Sirte on the road to Waddan and also near Bohadi village in the same district, on the 8 and 13 November respectively. ISIS’s claims its fighters repelled an attack by the LNA in Cyrenaica on 2 November.

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On 4 November, an LNA security post on the road between Jufra and Brak al-Shatti in south-west Libya was attacked by unknown assailants, killing two people. Reports that ISIS fighters still present on the coast east of Sirte.

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