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. ISIS fighters opened fire on the complex and the explosion was triggered after one of the attackers detonated a suicide belt. Later a car bomb was discovered nearby that was rigged for a massive detonation and could have taken out the complex completely if detonated. The recent attack follows the public disclosures last week, by the Attorney General’s office in Tripoli, of persons with suspected ties to ISIS and other extremist organizations, and the issuance of arrest warrants for 820 individuals.
It is reported that local social and political backlash against militia members allegedly connected with ISIS in the city has intensified in the wake of the attack. Misratan youths, who are increasingly supportive of a Libyan National Army (LNA) intervention, are already supporting local security forces in clamping down against militia members connected with ISIS, Ansar al-Sharia and the Benghazi Shura Revolutionary Council (BRSC) specifically. To this end, local sources report that an ISIS cell was found in the Ruwaisat area and its members, some alleged to be former Benghazi Defence Brigade (BDB) and Benghazi Mujahedine Shura Council (BMSC) members, were arrested. An armory connected to the group was also found with large quantities of ammunition and explosives.
The bodies of 21 Christians killed by ISIS in Sirte in 2015, were recently taken to a Misratan mortuary for identification and further evaluation before a discussion of the repatriation of their bodies. The investigation bureau of Misrata’s Crime Prevention Department reported that all of the victims were beheaded and dressed in the orange “execution” jumpsuits frequently depicted in ISIS media.