Da’esh-Affiliated Fighting Forces in Libya

Why Defeating Da’esh in Sirte is Not Enough

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By Emily Estelle, Katherine Zimmerman

Libya is a safe-haven for the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS), al Qaeda, and other Salafi-jihadi groups. These groups use territory in Libya to train and prepare for terrorist attacks in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt and to support the establishment of like-minded groups elsewhere in North Africa. ISIS and al Qaeda are both growing stronger in Libya, albeit in different ways, and both will use their North Africa safe-haven to export disorder throughout the region and the world.

Libya is key terrain for Salafi-jihadi organizations and for the West.  It sits along critical trafficking and smuggling routes that ISIS and al Qaeda use to move people and goods from the African Atlantic coastline through the Sinai and into the heart of the Arab world. The groups use routes that run across the Mediterranean to move trained fighters into Europe for future attacks. Far from being a random patch of desert, Libya is a geographical nexus that can greatly facilitate the expansion of al Qaeda, ISIS, and similar groups.

The collapse of governance and security that followed the 2011 overthrow of the government of Muammar Qaddafi created ideal conditions for al Qaeda-linked groups to re-emerge in Libya. Imprisoned al Qaeda-linked individuals and members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) played a fundamental role in the reconstitution of an al Qaeda-linked presence and networks inside the country after they were released from Libya’s notorious Abu Salim prison in 2011.[i] They reunited with other former LIFG leaders, some of whom Qaddafi had released from Abu Salim prison in 2010, who rose to prominence leading militias during the 2011 insurrection.[ii] These individuals constituted an organizing force that led to the establishment of the primary al Qaeda-linked group in Libya, Ansar al Sharia, and they leveraged relationships with other members of the al Qaeda network to establish and expand paramilitary and training camps in the country’s ungoverned space.

Libya’s ongoing multi-sided civil war perpetuates the environment of insecurity and lack of governance that enabled the resurrection of al Qaeda-linked groups there and that has since permitted ISIS to establish control over territory.[iii] After Libya’s election in July 2012 newly empowered Islamist, tribal, and political blocs were vying to control the state and its petro resources and undermining each other in order to gain dominance. The fracture lines hardened as political blocs relied on allied ground forces for power, moving the conflict from the political to the military sphere.

The conflict expanded in 2014 between an Islamist militia bloc backing the General National Congress (GNC), a legislative authority based in Tripoli, and a tribal-secularist militia bloc backing the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR). The coalitions have each cooperated alternately with secular and religious groups when necessary to achieve their own interests.[iv] Additional warring tribal factions secured their own interests in southwestern Libya during the conflict. Both Ansar al Sharia and ISIS benefit from the civil war because it preserves Libya as a fractured state and prevents any real opposition from coalescing against either group.

Ansar al Sharia used its momentum and battlefield reputation from the 2011 revolution to establish itself on the ground after the fall of the Qaddafi regime. It expanded from a stronghold in Benghazi and Derna to Sirte in June 2013, and developed strong relations with other Salafi-jihadi groups in cities like Ajdabiya, Sabratha, and Janzur.[v] Ansar al Sharia currently maintains popular support within strongholds in Benghazi, Derna, and possibly Ajdabiya along the northeastern coastline and continues to work with Libyan Salafi-jihadi groups. It also actively coordinates with other groups in al Qaeda’s network in North Africa, including al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), al Murabitoun, Ansar al Sharia in Tunisia, and others.

ISIS is emerging as a dominant governing force along the central Libyan coastline and threatens to seize control of Libyan oil infrastructure there. ISIS leadership deployed fighters from Iraq and Syria to Libya beginning in 2014, demonstrating the existence of a direct line of communications and the ability to move people and resources between the two regions. ISIS is attempting both to contest territory held by Ansar al Sharia and to co-opt the group’s Libyan networks. Ansar al Sharia previously held ISIS’s current stronghold in Sirte, for example. Both ISIS and al Qaeda-linked groups support training camps inside Libya, reportedly located in the northeastern desert near the Egyptian border and in northwestern and southwestern Libya.[vi]

Five major factions currently control or dominate territory in Libya’s most populated areas along the coastline: ISIS, Ansar al Sharia, the Libyan National Army (LNA), Libya Dawn forces, and the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG). (Click hyperlinks to navigate to the appropriate section within the text.)

Tribal factions such as the Tebu and the Tuareg dominate the southwest.[vii] Members of the LNA-aligned House of Representatives and the Libya Dawn-aligned General National Congress signed an agreement creating the Government of National Accord (GNA) on December 17, 2015, but they may not actually represent their Tobruk- and Tripoli-based constituencies or have the support of key militia commanders.[viii] The international community, however, recognizes the GNA, which is not sovereign over most of Libya, as the government.[ix] Access to international support may incentivize factions to support the GNA, though regional countries such as Qatar, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt, are all providing direct support to individual warring factions.[x]

ISIS in Libya

ISIS seeks to expand its caliphate in Libya. Its immediate objectives are to 1) prevent the reconstitution of a unitary Libyan state; 2) control and ultimately govern terrain by coopting or coercing local groups to join ISIS; and 3) secure critical resources, such as Libya’s oil infrastructure, to build a state under ISIS. The tactics ISIS uses in Libya are similar to those it deploys in Iraq and Syria, including asymmetrical attacks and conventional military forces, major local and international media campaigns, the coopting of local religious figures, the removal of opposition leadership, and the coercion of the population through brutality. ISIS is also using safe-havens in Libya to prepare for attacks in neighboring Tunisia. Both attackers in the ISIS-claimed bombings of the Bardo Museum and Sousse hotel in Tunisia trained at the same camp in Libya.[xi]

ISIS probably entered Libya through historical Salafi-jihadi networks and contacts that had previously provided support to the group in Iraq.[xii] These networks would have provided fertile ground for ISIS to sow its members inside Libya to grow additional support. The first indications of support for ISIS appeared in spring 2014 in Derna, Libya, even before the ISIS seizure of the city of Mosul in Iraq.[xiii] ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi recognized the establishment of ISIS in Libya on November 13, 2014, three days after he received pledges from the group’s three Libyan provinces (wilayats): Barqa (Cyrenaica), headquartered in Derna; Tarablus (Tripoli), headquartered in Sirte; and Fezzan, headquartered in southwestern Libya.[xiv] The current ISIS emir in Libya is not known, though top leaders include Abu al Bara al Azdi, a Yemeni cleric who had been the emir of Derna, and Abu Habib al Jazwari, a Saudi who may lead ISIS in Sirte.[xv]

ISIS is deploying experienced operatives from Iraq and Syria in order to constitute a veteran leadership cell in Libya. The steady flow of high-ranking personnel demonstrates ISIS’s investment in consolidating its positions in Libya. The late emir of ISIS in Libya, Abu Nabil al Anbari (AKA Wissam Najm Abd Zayd al Zubaydi AKA Abdul Mughira al Qahtani), was reportedly part of a September 2014 delegation dispatched from Iraq and Syria that then aided in the takeover of Derna.[xvi]  He was killed by a U.S. airstrike on November 13, 2015 in Derna.[xvii] Hasan al Salahayn Salih al Sha’ari, released from an Iraqi prison in mid-2012, returned to Libya and helped facilitate the establishment of ISIS in Derna in late 2014.[xviii] Derna served as the primary ISIS stronghold in Libya until June 2015, when an anti-ISIS al Qaeda-linked faction pushed the group out.[xix]

ISIS began to establish its presence in Sirte in early 2015. Prominent ISIS cleric Turki al Binali, for example, spoke in Sirte to build support for the group after an ISIS military parade in the city in late February 2015.[xx] The defection of a senior Ansar al Sharia Libya jurist, Sheikh Abu Abdullah al Libi, to ISIS in March 2015 both buoyed support for ISIS in Sirte and brought a faction of al Libi’s supporters to the group.[xxi] ISIS has since consolidated control over the city.[xxii] It suppressed an uprising in Sirte in late summer 2015 and has institutionalized new governance systems, including courts, educational systems, and a police force. Early August 2015 reports claimed that a cell of 17 fighters arrived in Sirte from Iraq and Syria, and it appears that most senior leadership is now basing in Sirte.[xxiii] The publication of an interview in Sirte with ISIS in Libya’s late emir in the September 2015 issue of ISIS’s flagship magazine, Dabiq, underscores the importance of Sirte to ISIS’s presence in Libya.[xxiv]

The experienced ISIS operatives who deployed from Iraq and Syria probably lead and design the group’s campaigns in Libya. ISIS is expanding from its sanctuary in Sirte: the group’s Wilayat Barqa (Derna) and Wilayat Tarablus (Tripoli) are collaborating to hold a contiguous zone of control that stretches from Harawa and Ben Jawad east of the city to al Buerat in the west.[xxv] ISIS Wilayat Barqa forces are engaged in a campaign targeting the Libyan oil infrastructure in Ras Lanuf and al Sidra; meanwhile, Wilayat Tarablus has used asymmetrical attacks to fix powerful militias in Misrata in support of the oil campaign.[xxvi] ISIS is likely behind the string of assassinations in Ajdabiya targeting religious, military, and government officials that began in fall 2015, which indicated that ISIS was seeking to expand into the city, though current Libyan National Army (LNA) operations may have forestalled this objective. ISIS Wilayat Barqa forces are fighting in Benghazi, where the LNA is conducting a major clearing operation, and in Derna, where an anti-ISIS Islamist coalition is preventing the group from re-establishing its presence in the city.[xxvii] ISIS militants recently engaged in a fight to retain freedom of movement in northwestern Libya near the Tunisian border. Local militias and tribal forces in Sabratha began a push to expel ISIS from the area after a February 2015 U.S. airstrike on a nearby ISIS training camp.[xxviii]

Ansar al Sharia in Libya

Ansar al Sharia is a Salafi-jihadi group established during Libya’s 2011 revolution that has received support from the al Qaeda network.[xxix] It is implementing a strategy to build popular support and strength that follows al Qaeda leadership’s strategic guidance. Ansar al Sharia seeks to establish a polity governed by shari’a law in Libya.[xxx] The group’s short-term objectives are: 1) to maintain and expand its areas of control in Benghazi and Derna; 2) to contest the rise of ISIS in Libya; and 3) to support the global al Qaeda network, especially Jabhat al Nusra in Syria. Ansar al Sharia initially adopted a strategy centered on da’wa (religious call) and social services rather than on violence to drive recruitment and build popular support in Libya. The group also operated abroad, conducting humanitarian missions in Syria, Sudan, and Gaza in 2012-2013.[xxxi]

Ansar al Sharia’s focus on local support and governance may have helped obfuscate its longer-term intentions and its anti-U.S. and anti-Western stance. Individuals affiliated with Ansar al Sharia, as well as AQIM, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and the Mohammed Jamal Network, participated in the September 11, 2012 attacks on U.S. facilities and personnel in Benghazi.[xxxii] Ansar al Sharia members fought during the 2011 civil war, and the group has maintained its military capabilities even as it pursues da’wa and governance activities.[xxxiii]

Al Qaeda global leader Ayman al Zawahiri reportedly tasked senior al Qaeda operative Abu Anas al Libi and other veteran militants with building an al Qaeda affiliate in Libya in 2011.[xxxiv] Veteran Salafi-jihadists founded Ansar al Sharia, re-establishing ties between al Qaeda and Libyan Islamist groups. Former LIFG members and al Qaeda veterans helped establish Ansar al Sharia’s primary branches in Benghazi and Derna, probably with assistance from regional al Qaeda affiliates like AQIM and AQAP.[xxxv]  Ansar al Sharia in Libya’s present leadership retains close ties to the al Qaeda network. Its current leader in Derna, Sufian Ben Qhumu, is an al Qaeda veteran and a former detainee of both Guantanamo Bay and Libya’s Abu Salim prison.[xxxvi] Similarly, Mohammed al Zahawi, the late leader of Ansar al Sharia in Benghazi, stayed with Osama bin Laden in Sudan in the 1990s before being imprisoned in Abu Salim for his role in the LIFG.[xxxvii] Senior al Qaeda members, including Zawahiri and AQAP leadership, eulogized Zahawi after his death in January 2015.[xxxviii] The background of al Zahawi’s successor, Abu Khaled al Madani, is unknown, but his position suggests that he, too, retains ties to the al Qaeda network.[xxxix]

Ansar al Sharia in Libya hosted several meetings to coordinate Salafi-jihadi groups’ activities in North Africa, showing the continuing role it is playing within the al Qaeda network. It held its first annual conference for Libyan groups in June 2012, attended by representatives from across Libya.[xl]  Salafi-jihadi leaders from AQIM, AQIM-associated groups such as Ansar al Din in Mali, Mokhtar Belmokhtar’s al Murabitoun, Ansar al Sharia in Tunisia, and other groups attended a September 2013 meeting in Benghazi to coordinate their support for jihad in Mali and specifically Syria.[xli] The groups decided to continue to send fighters to Syria to train in the Syrian jihad and, ultimately, return to fight in Libya.[xlii] A second known meeting to discuss possible cooperation between the groups during the early stages of ISIS’s growth in Sirte occurred in June 2015 in Ajdabiya.[xliii] Ansar al Sharia actively supports training camps in Libya that supply fighters to both its own forces and Jabhat al Nusra, al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria.[xliv]

Ansar al Sharia is generating a resilient, networked threat in Libya by merging with other Salafi-jihadi and Islamist armed groups. These groups do not operate under al Qaeda’s name, but they receive support from the al Qaeda network. Ansar al Sharia merged with Benghazi’s Islamist militias in 2014 to form the Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council (BRSC).[xlv] Ansar al Sharia leads the BRSC, but the organization effectively masks the group’s al Qaeda affiliation and claims to act on behalf of the people of Benghazi.[xlvi] Ansar al Sharia also merged with local Islamist militias in Derna, forming the Mujahideen Shura Council of Derna (MSCD). Sufian Ben Qhumu, the Ansar al Sharia leader in Derna, is the MSCD’s military commander.[xlvii] Ansar al Sharia’s appropriation of resistance groups follows the vision of al Qaeda groups to unite the jihad and to work through local Islamist militias. The integration of Ansar al Sharia with local groups will make it difficult to delineate the al Qaeda-linked elements that are entrenching themselves in eastern Libya.

Ansar al Sharia’s militia forces are currently fighting to defend their positions in Ajdabiya, Benghazi, and Derna along the eastern Libyan coastline.[xlviii] Ansar al Sharia members are part of the Ajdabiya Revolutionary Shura Council, which lost control of the city to the Libyan National Army (LNA) on February 22.[xlix] The LNA clearing operation in Benghazi has put Ansar al Sharia on the defensive in its core stronghold.[l] Ansar al Sharia will probably be able to maintain its presence in Benghazi, where it will conduct both conventional and unconventional attacks against LNA troops. The Ansar al Sharia-affiliated MSCD remains the most potent fighting force in Derna, where it is blocking ISIS’s attempts to recapture territory and attacking LNA forces operating in the area.[li] Ansar al Sharia has probably not abandoned its intent to attack Western interests in Libya, but it is unlikely to attack regional U.S. and Western targets as it focuses on securing its Libyan strongholds.[lii]

ISIS and Ansar al Sharia are now competing for leadership of the jihad in Libya. Reports of Ansar al Sharia’s demise are misleading and premature, though the defection of Ansar al Sharia’s Sirte group was significant and set the stage for ISIS’s rise.[liii] Militants and affiliated groups in Benghazi, Derna, and Ajdabiya have also reportedly defected to ISIS.[liv] Ansar al Sharia’s core leaders and primary groups in those cities remain loyal to al Qaeda, however. Reports that Ansar al Sharia’s numbers have dwindled significantly may overlook the group’s proxy control of the BRSC and its prominent role in the MSCD, which routed ISIS in Derna in June 2015 and continues to prevent ISIS from retaking the city.[lv] The group is also countering ISIS propaganda with its own: Ansar al Sharia releases photos of training camp graduates, publicizes attacks on LNA soldiers, and promotes comparable social media content.[lvi]

Libyan National Army

The Libyan National Army (LNA) is a tribal-secularist coalition assembled by General Khalifa Haftar after the fall of the Qaddafi regime. It operates primarily in eastern Libya.[lvii] General Haftar is a former Qaddafi loyalist who defected in the 1980s and returned to Libya during the 2011 revolution.[lviii] The LNA is aligned with the Tobruk-based House of Representatives against the Tripoli-based and Islamist-leaning General National Congress (GNC). The LNA’s immediate stated objective is the elimination of Islamist groups in eastern Libya, especially Benghazi, though it is also a key power player in the ongoing civil war.[lix] The LNA coalition includes regional and tribal militia forces and former army units, such as the al Saiqa special forces.[lx] It also has anti-Islamist tribal allies in western Libya, as well as very limited air and naval forces.[lxi]

The LNA’s primary opponents are the Islamist groups and allied parties that took control of Libya’s government following Qaddafi’s murder.[lxii] General Haftar launched Operation Dignity in Benghazi in May 2014 with the stated aim of eliminating all “terrorists” in Libya; LNA-aligned forces simultaneously stormed the Islamist-leaning General National Congress (GNC) in Tripoli.[lxiii] Haftar did not distinguish between moderate political Islamists and Salafi-jihadi groups, inspiring an Islamist backlash that fueled the civil war and the consolidation of Benghazi’s Islamist groups under Ansar al Sharia.[lxiv] The Islamist Libya Dawn coalition ultimately retook the capital from Haftar’s allies in western Libya, and Operation Dignity stalled in Benghazi.[lxv]  The LNA’s primary fronts are in Benghazi, Derna, and Ajdabiya, and it maintains strongholds in the eastern Libyan desert, near Jalu and Kufra.[lxvi]

The LNA’s focus remains Benghazi, where it launched a major push in mid-February 2015 and recaptured several districts, possibly with support from French military advisers.[lxvii] The LNA simultaneously claimed to take control of Ajdabiya from the al Qaeda- and ISIS-linked factions of the Ajdabiya Revolutionary Shura Council.[lxviii] LNA brigades are also present in Derna, where they have clashed with the Ansar al Sharia-linked MSCD in the past, but now appear to be cooperating with some factions of the group to block ISIS Wilayat Barqa’s attempts to retake the city.[lxix] The LNA conducts occasional airstrikes on ISIS and other Islamist positions in eastern Libya, but it is not currently contesting ISIS’s expansion in central Libya.[lxx]

Libya Dawn

Libya Dawn is a loose Islamist military coalition that formed in response to General Haftar’s Operation Dignity.[lxxi] It supports the Islamist-leaning General National Congress (GNC), which is based in Tripoli.[lxxii] Libya Dawn is based in western Libya, where it comprises Tripoli militias, tribal fighters, and anti-Qaddafi revolutionary militias from the city of Misrata; it also includes Muslim Brotherhood-backed militias in eastern Libya.[lxxiii] Libya Dawn’s stated objective is to prevent the reversal of the 2011 revolution, which empowered Libya’s political Islamists, including the Muslim Brotherhood.[lxxiv] Libya Dawn and its associated militias have allies among western Libyan tribes and very limited air capabilities based in Misrata.[lxxv] Libya Dawn also includes fighters and leadership who cooperate with Ansar al Sharia and other BRSC militias against the Libyan National Army (LNA) in Benghazi.[lxxvi] Libya Dawn members have attempted to publicly distance themselves from Salafi-jihadi groups, citing their adherence to political Islamism.[lxxvii] They oppose ISIS’s territorial expansion; Misratan militias contested ISIS’s initial takeover of Sirte, and Tripoli-based security forces have deported Tunisians with suspected ISIS ties and captured suspected ISIS leaders traveling in western Libya.[lxxviii]

The Libya Dawn coalition is growing increasingly fractious. The relationship between Misratan militias and eastern Libyan Islamist forces is deteriorating, a phenomenon exacerbated by Misratan support for the UN-brokered Government of National Accord (GNA).[lxxix] The General National Congress (GNC) and Libya’s political Islamists oppose the GNA, which would require sharing legitimacy and power with the rival House of Representatives (HoR).[lxxx] Libya Dawn will likely prevent the GNA from establishing itself in the capital, Tripoli. Misratan forces are pursuing a containment strategy to prevent ISIS’s westward expansion from Sirte; three militias recently mobilized from Misrata to Abugrein to preserve their control over key ground lines of communication in the region.[lxxxi] However, the Misratan forces lack the capability to attack ISIS in its stronghold.[lxxxii]

Petroleum Facilities Guard

The Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) is a federalist militia that controls the bulk of the oil and gas infrastructure in eastern Libya.[lxxxiii] It splintered from Libya’s national security forces due to regional and tribal efforts to preserve historical control over eastern Libya’s oil from the Tripoli-based national government. Ibrahim al Jathran, a tribal leader and anti-Qaddafi revolutionary, leads the PFG.[lxxxiv] He defected from the General National Congress’s (GNC) national Petroleum Protection Force in the summer of 2013 and seized the main oil export terminals at Ras Lanuf and al Sidra.[lxxxv] Jathran later attempted to sell oil without the government’s permission.[lxxxvi] He is politically pragmatic and has alternately aligned his forces with both the GNC and the Libyan House of Representatives (HoR).[lxxxvii]

The PFG initially cooperated with General Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) against Tripoli-based Islamist forces seeking to retake the oil terminals.[lxxxviii] Jathran has since alleged that Haftar’s forces attempted to assassinate him and has publicly split from the general.[lxxxix] Jathran’s brother is rumored to be an ISIS commander, but there are no other indicators that Jathran is assisting ISIS.[xc] ISIS, which launched a campaign on Libya’s oil infrastructure in January 2016, has attacked PFG positions at Ras Lanuf, al Sidra, and Zueitina.[xci] The PFG has blocked ISIS’s efforts to take permanent control of oil infrastructure, but has taken significant casualties.[xcii] The PFG will attempt to hold its current positions against future ISIS offensives, but it will likely fail without the support of other Libyan forces on the ground.

[i] Nic Robertson and Paul Cruickshank, “Islamic Militants among Prisoners Freed from Libyan Jail,” CNN, August 26, 2011, http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/08/26/libya.militants.analysis/.
[ii] “Ex-Islamists walk free from Libyan jail,” Reuters, August 31, 2010, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-libya-prisoners-release-idUSTRE67U5U420100831.
[iii] For in-depth analysis of Libya’s civil war, see Andrew Engel, “Libya as a Failed State: Causes, Consequences, Options,” The Washington Institute, November 2014, https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/libya-as-a-failed-state-causes-consequences-options.
[iv] Ayman Amzein, “IS beaten back in new assault in Derna,” Libya Herald, February 22, 2016, https://www.libyaherald.com/2016/02/22/is-beaten-back-in-new-assault-in-derna/.
[v] Aaron Zelin, “The Terrorist Threat in North Africa: Before and After Benghazi,” Testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade and the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, July 20, 2013, https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/uploads/Documents/testimony/ZelinTestimony20130710-v2.pdf.
[vi] “Statement from Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook on Libya airstrike,” U.S. Department of Defense, February 19, 2016, http://www.defense.gov/News/News-Releases/News-Release-View/Article/658458/statement-from-pentagon-press-secretary-peter-cook-on-libya-airstrike;  “Department of Defense Press Briefing by Gen. Rodriguez in the Pentagon Briefing Room on Ebola Response,” U.S. Department of Defense, December 3, 2014, http://www.defense.gov/News/News-Transcripts/Transcript-View/Article/606973; and “AFRICOM and SOCAFRICA and the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012,” U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Armed Services, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, June 26, 2013, http://armedservices.house.gov/index.cfm/files/serve?File_id=AAEBCAA5-4C8F-4820-BACD-2DB9B53C3424.
[vii] “Rival Libyan Tribes Sign Ceasefire Deal in Doha,” Al Jazeera, November 23, 2015, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/11/libya-tribes-sign-ceasefire-deal-151123164452428.html.
[viii] Kareem Fahim and Suliman Ali Zway, “Libya’s Rival Factions Sign Deal for Unity Government,” New York Times, December 17, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/18/world/africa/libya-unity-government.html; and Merrit Kennedy, “Libyan Rivals Sign Unity Agreement … But Could It Create More Chaos?” NPR, December 17, 2015, http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/12/17/460118035/libyan-rivals-sign-unity-agreement-but-could-it-create-more-chaos.
[ix] U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, “Press Statement: Welcoming the Signing of the Libyan Political Agreement,” U.S. Department of State, December 17, 2015, http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2015/12/250760.htm.
[x] Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Nathaniel Barr, “Dignity and Dawn: Libya’s Escalating Civil War,” ICCT, February 2015, http://www.icct.nl/download/file/ICCT-Gartenstein-Ross-Barr-Dignity-and-Dawn-Libyas-Escalating-Civil-War-February2015.pdf.
[xi] “Tunisia beach killer trained with museum gunmen,” Associated Press, June 30, 2015, http://www.breitbart.com/news/apnewsbreak-tunisia-beach-killer-trained-with-museum-gunmen/.
[xii] Jessica Lewis McFate, “ISIS’s Future Global Footprint: A Historical Perspective from the Sinjar Records,” Institute for the Study of War, December 31, 2014, http://iswresearch.blogspot.com/2014/12/isiss-future-global-footprint.html.
[xiii] The Derna-based Majlis al Shura Shabaab al Islam group issued a statement in support for ISIS and leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi on June 22, 2014. “Jihadi Group Expresses Support for ISIS,” SITE Intelligence Group, June 22, 2014, available by subscription through www.siteintelgroup.com; Frederic Wehrey and Ala’ Alrababa’h, “Rising out of Chaos: The Islamic State in Libya,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, March 5, 2015, http://carnegieendowment.org/syriaincrisis/?fa=59268; and Aaron Zelin, “The Islamic State’s First Colony in Libya,” The Washington Institute, October 10, 2014, http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/the-islamic-states-first-colony-in-libya.
[xiv] “IS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Rallies Fighters, Welcomes New Pledges,” SITE Intelligence Group, November 13, 2013, available by subscription through www.siteintelgroup.com; and “Fighters in Libya Pledge Allegiance to the IS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” SITE Intelligence Group, November 10, 2014, available by subscription through www.siteintelgroup.com.
[xv] Mirco Keilberth, Juliane von Mittelstaedt, and Cristoph Reuter, “The ‘Caliphate’s’ Colonies: Islamic State’s Gradual Expansion into North Africa,” Der Spiegel, November 18, 2014, http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/islamic-state-expanding-into-north-africa-a-1003525.html; Frederic Wehrey and Ala’ Alrababa’h, “Rising out of Chaos: The Islamic State in Libya”; Paul Cruickshank, Nic Robertson, Tim Lister, and Jomana Karadsheh, “ISIS Comes to Libya,” CNN, November 19, 2014, http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/18/world/isis-libya/; and Saber Ayyub, “Confessions of arrested IS members,” Libya Herald, February 25, 2016, https://www.libyaherald.com/2016/02/25/confessions-of-arrested-is-members/.
[xvi] Paul Cruickshank, Nic Robertson, Tim Lister, and Jomana Karadsheh, “ISIS Comes to Libya.”
[xvii] Press Operations, “Statement from the Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook on U.S. Strike in Libya,” U.S. Department of Defense, November 14, 2015, http://www.defense.gov/News/News-Releases/News-Release-View/Article/628954/statement-from-pentagon-press-secretary-peter-cook-on-us-strike-in-libya.
[xviii] Press Center, “Treasury Sanctions Major Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Leaders, Financial Figures, Facilitators, and Supporters,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, September 29, 2015, http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl0188.aspx.
[xix] Cody Zoschak, “ISIS Loses Libyan Stronghold,” Institute for the Study of War, June 24, 2015, http://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/isis-loses-libyan-stronghold.
[xx] “IS Tripoli Province Holds Military Parade in Sirte,” SITE Intelligence Group, February 19, 2015, available by subscription through www.siteintelgroup.com; and “The Most Prominent Spiritual Leader for Daesh Appears in Sirte, Libya,” Al Arabiya Arabic, February 22, 2015, http://www.alarabiya.net/ar/north-africa/libya/2015/02/22/%D8%A3%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%B2-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A2%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%A1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%AD%D9%8A%D9%8A%D9%86-%D9%84%D9%80-%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%B4-%D9%8A%D8%B8%D9%87%D8%B1-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%B3%D8%B1%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%84%D9%8A%D8%A8%D9%8A%D8%A9.html.
[xxi] “Jihadists Report Shariah Jurist in Ansar al-Shariah in Libya Pledging to IS,” SITE Intelligence Group, March 28, 2015, available by subscription through www.siteintelgroup.com; and Thomas Joscelyn, “Ansar al Sharia Libya Relaunches Social Media Sites,” Long War Journal, April 9, 2015, http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2015/04/ansar-al-sharia-libya-relaunches-social-media-sites.php.
[xxii] Aaron Zelin, “The Islamic State’s Burgeoning Capital in Sirte, Libya,” The Washington Institute, August 6, 2015, http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/the-islamic-states-burgeoning-capital-in-sirte-libya.
[xxiii] Social media reporting indicated that al Sha’ari had relocated to Sirte by November 2015, for example. “Saudi and Bahraini ISIS Reinforcements Arrive in Sirte, Libya,” al Wasat, August 7, 2015, http://en.alwasat.ly/en/news/libya/985/New-ISIS-leadership-fighters-from-Saudi-Arabia-and-Bahrain-arrive-in-Sirte.htm.
[xxiv] ISIS released the eleventh issue of its magazine, Dabiq, through its al Hayat Media Center on September 9, 2015. The interview and full magazine is available by subscription through www.siteintelgroup.com.
[xxv] ISIS Wilayat Barqa published a photoset of its “Islamic Police” in Harawa, Libya, on January 14, 2016; “UPDATE 3- Islamic State fighters target Libya’s main oil terminals,” Reuters, January 4, 2016, http://af.reuters.com/article/libyaNews/idAFL8N14O1U020160104.; and “Daesh seizes al Buerat east of Misrata,” al Wasat, February 1, 2016, http://www.alwasat.ly/ar/news/libya/94525/. [Arabic]
[xxvi] ISIS Wilayat Barqa militants set fire to oil storage tanks in Ras Lanuf on January 21, 2016, for example. Ayman al Wafalli and Ahmed Elumami, “Islamic State Attack Sets Storage Tanks Ablaze at Libyan Oil Terminal,” Reuters, January 21, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-libya-security-idUSKCN0UZ0P0; and Claire Coyne, Emily Estelle, and Harleen Gambhir, “ISIS’s Campaign in Libya: January 4-February 16, 2016.” AEI Critical Threats Project and the Institute for the Study of War, February 16, 2016, http://www.criticalthreats.org/libya/coyne-estelle-gambhir-isis-campaign-in-libya-february-19-2016.
[xxvii] Ayman Amzein, “IS beaten back in new assault in Derna.”
[xxviii] Saber Ayyub, “Prominent IS member killed in continued fighting,” Libya Herald, February 25, 2016, https://www.libyaherald.com/2016/02/25/prominent-sabratha-is-member-killed-in-continuing-fighting/.
[xxix] Al Qaeda was actively pursuing a policy of obscuring its relations with local Salafi-jihadi militant groups by 2011, seen in leadership correspondence between Osama bin Laden and al Shabaab’s emir in Somalia. For more on how to define the al Qaeda network, see Katherine Zimmerman, “The al Qaeda Network: A New Framework for Defining the Enemy,” AEI’s Critical Threats Project, September 10, 2013, http://www.criticalthreats.org/al-qaeda/zimmerman-al-qaeda-network-new-framework-defining-enemy-september-10-2013.
[xxx] Aaron Zelin, “The Rise and Decline of Ansar al-Sharia in Libya,” Hudson Institute, April 6, 2015, http://www.hudson.org/research/11197-the-rise-and-decline-of-ansar-al-sharia-in-libya#footNote33.
[xxxi] Aaron Zelin, “The Rise and Decline of Ansar al-Sharia in Libya.”
[xxxii] The January 15. 2014, U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report, “Review of the Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Facilities in Benghazi, Libya, September 11-12, 2012, together with Additional Views,” stated, “Individuals affiliated with terrorist groups, including AQIM [al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb], Ansar al Sharia, AQAP [al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula], and the Mohammad Jamal Network, participated in the September 11, 2012, attacks.” The report noted that it was not clear whether an individual or group had overall command and control of the attacks, which were deemed to be opportunistic. Media outlets have also released reports of AQIM and AQAP connections to the attacks. CNN reported that former AQIM commander Mokhtar Belmokhtar received a phone call from individuals who participated in the attack and that a U.S. law enforcement official had said “three or four” AQAP members participated in the attack. U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, “Review of the Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Facilities in Benghazi, Libya, September 11-12, 2012, together with Additional Views,” January 15, 2014, http://www.intelligence.senate.gov/sites/default/files/publications/113134.pdf, pp. 40; Eli Lake, “Intercepts Show Attacks on U.S. Consulate in Benghazi Bragged to al Qaeda,” The Daily Beast, September 28, 2012, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/09/28/intercepts-show-attackers-on-u-s-consulate-in-benghazi-bragged-to-al-qaeda.html; Paul Cruickshank, Tim Lister, and Nic Robertson, “Phone Call Links Benghazi Attack to al Qaeda Commander,” CNN, March 5, 2013, http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/05/world/africa/benghazi-al-qaeda/; Paul Cruickshank, Tim Lister, Nic Robertson, and Fran Townsend, “Sources: 3 al Qaeda operatives took part in Benghazi attack,” CNN, May 4, 2013, http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/02/world/africa/us-libya-benghazi-suspects/; Faisal Irshaid, “Profile: Libya’s Ansar al-Sharia,” BBC, June 13, 2014, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-27732589; and Thomas Joscelyn, “Senate report: Terrorists ‘affiliated’ with multiple al Qaeda groups involved in Benghazi attack,” The Long War Journal, January 15, 2014, http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2014/01/_intelligence_on_al.php.
[xxxiii] Hamza Hendawi and Maggie Michael, “A Benghazi Power, Libya Militia Eyed in Attack,” Associated Press, September 18, 2012, http://bigstory.ap.org/article/benghazi-power-libya-militia-eyed-attack.
[xxxiv] Abu Malik al Libi, likely a LIFG member, had left Iran for Libya and arrived in late winter 2011. Abu Malik had been imprisoned with senior al Qaeda operative Abu Anas al Libi and wrote to him that the trip was easy. Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri reportedly tasked Abu Anas al Libi with building an al Qaeda network in Libya in 2011; Zawahiri also sent veteran al Qaeda operative Abd al Baset Azzouz to build a network in Derna that same year. Abu Anas was later captured in a U.S. raid in Tripoli, Libya on October 5, 2013. The report from Abu Malik al Libi is included in an April 5, 2011, letter from Atiyah Abd al Rahman to Osama bin Laden, which was recovered in the May 2011 Abbottabad raid and since declassified. It is available: http://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ubl/english/Letter%20dtd%205%20April%202011.pdf. See also Library of Congress Federal Research Division, “Al-Qaeda in Libya: A Profile,” August 2012, https://fas.org/irp/world/para/aq-libya-loc.pdf; and Barbara Starr, Evan Perez, and Greg Botelho, “U.S. Forces Strike in Libya, Somalia, Capture al Qaeda Operative,” CNN, October 6, 2013, http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/06/world/africa/us-forces-africa-terrorist-raids/.
[xxxv] Aaron Zelin, “Know your Ansar al Sharia,” Foreign Police, September 21, 2012, http://foreignpolicy.com/2012/09/21/know-your-ansar-al-sharia/.
[xxxvi] Sufian Ben Qhumu fought in Afghanistan in the 1980s and traveled with al Qaeda to Sudan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan through the 1990s. See Barbara Starr, Suzanne Kelly, and Tim Lister, “Questions Swirl About Libyan Militant’s Role in Benghazi Attack,” CNN, September 20, 2012, http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/20/questions-swirl-about-libyan-militants-role-in-benghazi-attack/; Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Aaron Zelin, “How the Arab Spring’s Prisoners Releases Have Helped the Jihadi Cause,” The Atlantic, October 11, 2012, http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/10/how-the-arab-springs-prisoner-releases-have-helped-the-jihadi-cause/263469/; and Thomas Joscelyn, “Ex-Guantanamo detainee remains suspect in Benghazi attack,” The Long War Journal, January 8, 2014, http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2014/01/an_ex-guantanamo_det.php.
[xxxvii] Faisal Irshaid, “Profile: Libya’s Ansar al-Sharia”; Thomas Joscelyn, “Ansar al Sharia Libya leader met with Osama bin Laden, followed his ‘methodology,’” The Long War Journal, February 11, 2015, http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2015/02/ansar_al_sharia_liby_2.php; and Mary Fitzgerald, “It Wasn’t Us,” Foreign Policy, September 18, 2012, http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/09/18/it_wasn_t_us.
[xxxviii] “Zawahiri attacks Baghdadi, IS for exporting infighting from Iraq and Syria in video,” SITE Intelligence Group, September 9, 2015, available by subscription at www.siteintelgroup.com; “AQAP Senior Cleric Gives Eulogy for Leader of Ansar al-Shariah in Libya in Posthumous Audio,” SITE Intelligence Group, February 11, 2015, available by subscription at http://www.siteintelgroup.com; and “Leader of Libyan Islamists Ansar al-Shariah dies of wounds,” Reuters, January 23, 2015, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-libya-security-idUSKBN0KW1MU20150123.
[xxxix] Thomas Joscelyn, “Ansar al Sharia Libya fights on under new leader,” The Long War Journal, June 30, 2015, http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2015/06/ansar-al-sharia-libya-fights-on-under-new-leader.php.
[xl] Aaron Zelin, “The Terrorist Threat in North Africa: Before and After Benghazi,” endnote 4.
[xli] Aziz M., “Meeting in Benghazi between the jihadists of 7 African countries,” el Watan, December 20, 2013, http://www.elwatan.com/actualite/rencontre-a-benghazi-entre-les-djihadistes-de-7-pays-africains-20-12-2013-239230_109.php
[xliii] A U.S. airstrike targeted Mokhtar Belmokhtar at the meeting. See Kimberly Dozier and Jamie Dettmer, “U.S. Strikes Hit Suspected ISIS-Al Qaeda Gathering,” The Daily Beast, June 15, 2015, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/06/15/exclusive-u-s-strikes-hit-suspected-isis-al-qaeda-summit.html.
[xliv] Aaron Zelin, “New Evidence on Ansar al-Sharia in Libya Training Camps,” The Washington Institute, August 8, 2013, http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/new-evidence-on-ansar-al-sharia-in-libya-training-camps.
[xlv] Aaron Zelin, “The Rise and Decline of Ansar al-Sharia in Libya.”
[xlvi] “Ansar al Sharia and the Muslim Brotherhood in Benghazi split,” Libya Herald, August 18, 2014, http://www.libyaherald.com/2014/08/18/ansar-al-sharia-and-the-muslim-brotherhood-in-benghazi-split-over-local-council/#ixzz3AqMtLnBd.
[xlvii] Aaron Zelin, “The Rise and Decline of Ansar al-Sharia in Libya.”
[xlviii] Aaron Zelin, “The Rise and Decline of Ansar al-Sharia in Libya.”
[xlix] “The Libyan Army takes control of Ajdabiya and advances in Benghazi,” al Bayan, February 23, 2016, http://www.albayan.ae/one-world/arabs/2016-02-23-1.2579944.
[l] Ayman al Warfalli, “Army claims advances in Libyan cities of Benghazi and Ajdabiya,” Reuters, February 21, 2015. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-libya-security-benghazi-idUSKCN0VU0UM.
[li] “Violent clashes renewed between Mujahideen of Derna and Daesh in the east of the city,” al Wasat, Feburary 18, 2016, http://www.alwasat.ly/ar/news/libya/96678/ [Arabic]; and “Ansar al-Shariah in Libya claims downing Libyan military plane in Derna,” SITE Intelligence Group, February 8, 2016, available by subscription at www.siteintelgroup.com.
[lii] U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, “Review of the Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Facilities in Benghazi, Libya, September 11-12, 2012, together with Additional Views.”
[liii] Aaron Zelin, “The Islamic State’s Burgeoning Capital in Sirte, Libya.”
[liv] “Letter dated 18 November 2015 from the Chair of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) concerning Al-Qaida and associated individuals and entities addressed to the President of the Security Council,” UNSC, November 18, 2015, http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2015/891&referer=/english/&Lang=E; “Ajdabiya and Derna Shoura Councils deny terrorist links,” Libya Herald, January 3, 2016, https://www.libyaherald.com/2016/01/03/ajdabiya-and-derna-shoura-councils-deny-terrorist-links/; and “Ajdabiya Revolutionary Shura Council announces allegiance to Islamic State,” pro-ISIS social media account, December 31, 2015.
[lv] “Letter dated 18 November 2015 from the Chair of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) concerning Al-Qaida and associated individuals and entities addressed to the President of the Security Council;” and Ayman Amzein, “IS beaten back in new assault in Derna.”
[lvi]  “Ansar al-Shariah releases photos of recent training camp graduates,” SITE Intelligence Group, January 11, 2016, available by subscription at www.siteintelgroup.com; “Ansar al-Shariah in Libya claims attacking five points of Libyan soldiers in Benghazi,” SITE Intelligence Group, February 15, 2016, available by subscription at www.siteintelgroup.com; and “Ansar al-Shariah in Libya begins streaming radio broadcast on Mixlr,” SITE Intelligence Group, February 9, 2016, available by subscription at www.siteintelgroup.com.
[lvii] Camille Tawil, “Operation Dignity: General Haftar’s Latest Battle May Decide Libya’s Future,” Terrorism Monitor, May 30, 2014, http://www.jamestown.org/programs/tm/single/?tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=42443&cHash=24a38c40982c66819e7196d24603335b#.Vpa2KvkrLcu.
[lviii] Camille Tawil, “Operation Dignity: General Haftar’s Latest Battle May Decide Libya’s Future.”
[lix] “Libya, Extremism, and the Consequences of Collapse,” The Soufan Group, January 2016, http://soufangroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/TSG_Libya-Extremism-and-the-Consequences-of-Collapse-Jan2016.pdf; and “Guide to key Libyan militias,” BBC, January 11, 2016, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-19744533.
[lx] Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Nathaniel Barr, “Dignity and Dawn: Libya’s Escalating Civil War”
[lxi] Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Nathaniel Barr, “Dignity and Dawn: Libya’s Escalating Civil War;” and al Wasat, “The army prepares to seize al Sabri and the city center in Benghazi,” February 23, 2016, http://www.alwasat.ly/ar/news/libya/97206/.
[lxii] Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Nathaniel Barr, “Dignity and Dawn: Libya’s Escalating Civil War.”
[lxiii] Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Nathaniel Barr, “Dignity and Dawn: Libya’s Escalating Civil War.”
[lxiv] Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Nathaniel Barr, “Dignity and Dawn: Libya’s Escalating Civil War.”
[lxv] Ishaan Tharoor and Adam Taylor, “Here are the key players fighting the war for Libya, all over again,” Washington Post, August 27, 2014, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2014/08/27/here-are-the-key-players-fighting-the-war-for-libya-all-over-again/.
[lxvi] “Libya, Extremism, and the Consequences of Collapse,” The Soufan Group.
[lxvii] “Libyan soldiers killed as army presses gains in Benghazi,” Reuters, February 26, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-libya-security-idUSKCN0VZ2HF.
[lxviii] Ayman al Warfalli, “Army claims advances in Libyan cities of Benghazi and Ajdabiya.”
[lxix] The LNA clashed with the MSCD throughout 2015. “Clashes continue between LNA and SCMD outside of Derna,” Libya Herald, June 29, 2015,” http://www.libyaherald.com/2015/06/29/heavy-fighting-continues-near-derna/#ixzz3eYcPD5RC.; and the LNA provided air support for MSCD forces against ISIS in February 2016. Ayman Amzein, “IS beaten back in new assault in Derna.”
[lxxii] “Guide to key Libyan militias,” BBC.
[lxxiii] “Libya Dawn: Map of allies and enemies,” Al Arabiya.
[lxxv] Peter Dorrie, “Libya’s Islamist Rebels Have Their Own Air Forces,” Medium, April 30, 2015, https://medium.com/war-is-boring/libya-s-islamist-rebels-have-their-own-air-forces-2c1a1f07d100#.u3rq7mdld.
[lxxvi] “Guide to key Libyan militias,” BBC.
[lxxvii] Ishaan Tharoor and Adam Taylor, “Here are the key players fighting the war for Libya, all over again.”
[lxxviii] Tom Wescott, “IS seizes Libya airbase after Misrata forces pull out,” Middle East Eye, May 30, 2015, http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/seizes-sirte-airbase-after-misrata-forces-pull-out-67648483; “Rada Deterrence Force deports 8 Tunisians with IS/Daesh connections,” Libya Herald, February 10, 2016, https://www.libyaherald.com/2016/02/10/rada-deterrence-force-deports-eight-tunisians-with-isdaesh-connections/; and Saber Ayyub, “Confessions of Arrested IS Members.”
[lxxix] “Guide to key Libyan militias,” BBC; and “Misrata Military Council spokesman announces its abstention from Libya Dawn ops in Warshefana, Libya,” al Wasat, November 31, 2015, https://twitter.com/alwasatengnews/status/660498746883616768.
[lxxx] Azza K. Maghur, “Libya’s Political Agreement: What’s Next?” Atlantic Council, September 12, 2015, http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/menasource/libya-s-political-agreement-what-s-next.
[lxxxi] Claire Coyne, Emily Estelle, and Harleen Gambhir, “ISIS’s Campaign in Libya: January 4-February 16, 2016.”
[lxxxii] Claire Coyne, Emily Estelle, and Harleen Gambhir, “ISIS’s Campaign in Libya: January 4-February 16, 2016.”
[lxxxiii] “Libya, Extremism, and the Consequences of Collapse,” The Soufan Group.
[lxxxiv] Clifford Krauss, “In Challenge, Former Rebels in Libya Form Own Oil Company,” New York Times, November 11, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/12/world/africa/in-challenge-former-rebels-in-libya-form-own-oil-company.html; and Patrick Markey and Ghaith Shennib, “If he can hang on, Libyan premier may win oil standoff,” Reuters, January 27, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-libya-oil-idUSBREA0Q0ZF20140127.
[lxxxv] Clifford Krauss, “In Challenge, Former Rebels in Libya Form Own Oil Company.”
[lxxxvi] “Libya, Extremism, and the Consequences of Collapse,” The Soufan Group.
[lxxxvii] “Guide to key Libyan militias,” BBC; and “Libya, Extremism, and the Consequences of Collapse,” The Soufan Group.
[lxxxviii] Frederic Wehry, “The Battle for Libya’s Oil,” The Atlantic, February 9, 2015, http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/02/the-battle-for-libyas-oil/385285/.
[lxxxix] “Militiman Jodran deplores Haftar’s attempt to assassinate him,” Libya Observer, September 10, 2015, http://www.libyaobserver.ly/news/militiaman-jodran-deplores-haftars-attempt-assassinate-him; and “Guide to key Libyan militias,” BBC.
[xc] Gamal Nkruma, “Haftar in a hurry?” Al Ahram, January 28, 2016, http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/News/15345/19/Haftar-in-a-hurry-.aspx.
[xci] ISIS Wilayat Barqa militants launched a complex attack on a PFG-controlled export terminal at al Sidra on January 4, 2016, for example. “UPDATE 3- Islamic State fighters target Libya’s main oil terminals,” Reuters; and “Air strikes reported near Libya’s Sirte- resident,” Reuters, January 10, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-libya-security-idUSKCN0UO0W020160110.
[xcii] “Air strikes reported near Libya’s Sirte- resident,” Reuters.