Libya

  • Defeating ISIS in Libya

    While the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) has been routed out of its Libyan stronghold in the city of Sirte, the 2017 Manchester bombing, which was perpetrated by a duel British and Libyan citizen, demonstrated that Libya remains a fertile ground for ISIS and other extremist groups. On June 20, 2017, the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East launched a new report, The Origins and Evolution of ISIS in Libya, authored by Jason Pack, Rhiannon Smith, and Karim Mezran. The report examines ISIS’s pre-history, birth, expansion, consolidation, and dispersal in Libya, as well as the broader political context of the country.

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  • How to Root Out ISIS from Libya

    True national reconciliation and inclusiveness are necessary ingredients for ending the cycle of statelessness and radicalization that has created a fertile ground for terrorist groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), to flourish in Libya, according to a new Atlantic Council report.

    “People who fought in Syria, we call that the undergrad for jihad, they went to Libya to get their post-grad degree in jihad,” said Jason Pack, founder of Eye on ISIS in Libya and executive director of the US-Libya Business Association.

    “By coming from what they gathered in Syria to their post-grad in Derna and Sirte they founded their own brigades,” said Pack referring to mostly Tunisian jihadis who initially trained in Syria where a civil war has raged for the past six years. “The porosity of the Tunisian-Libyan border has been a real plague for Libya, and it has been a plague for Tunisia,” he added, pointing to high-profile terrorist attacks in Tunisia in 2015 at the Bardo National Museum in Tunis and on British holidaymakers in Sousse.

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  • Libya: A Political and Economic Trainwreck

    Libya is in a Catch-22 situation—political agreement cannot be reached without economic improvement and political stability is necessary to revive the economy. Turning the economy around is contingent on oil production and exports coming back on line, at least in its initial phase. In order to produce and export at full capacity, the country requires peace and security that allows for the resumed functioning of its oil wells and terminals.

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  • Miller in the Arab Weekly: Libya Is in Dire Need of a National Reconciliation Effort


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  • Haftar and Salafism: A Dangerous Game

    There is a contradiction in General Khalifa Haftar’s narrative. Although he denounces his opponents as “takfiri terrorists and Kharijites” and accuses Misrata of employing political Islam, turning to takfiri groups for help, embracing the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh), and supporting Ansar al-Sharia, he also has strong ties to Salafist organizations that are part of the forces fighting under his command in Barqa in eastern Libya. This is a dangerous game because even though the Salafists that Haftar works with, called Madkhlists, supposedly do not take part in politics, they have been active politically and militarily active in Libya since the February 11 revolution.

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  • Miller in the Arab Weekly: Egyptian Strikes in Libya Reflect Entrenched Interests


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  • Eljarh Quoted in the Libya Herald on Libyan National Army Progress in the Jufra Airbase


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  • Hellyer and Eljarh Quoted in Reuters on Egyptian Intervention in Libya


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  • Miller in the Arab Weekly: The Perils of Mounting Escalation in Libya


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  • The Barak al-Shati Massacre Shows a Weakened UN-Supported Government and a Fractured Country

    On May 18, militias belonging to the Misratan Third Force and its affiliates launched an attack on the Libyan National Army (LNA) in Barak al-Shati, an airport base in the Libyan province of Fezzan, and killed 141 Libyan army personnel and civilians, according to LNA sources. Many were unarmed and were shot in the head at close range. Fifty of them were young cadets who were camping there on their way to return to their hometowns after a graduation ceremony in Tukra (a town east of Benghazi). The victims belonged to almost all tribes of the South, and the large number of funerals across the south shows how many this attack affected.

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