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Libyan National Army Claims Qatar Transferring ISIS Militants into Libya

ISIS IN ACTION
Sources from the Libyan National Army (LNA) told UAE based news outlet, Alittihad, that Qatar is transferring Islamic State (ISIS) militants from Iraq and Syria to Libya. It is alleged that Doha intends for the fighters to regroup in the South of Libya after major losses in Syria and Iraq.

The campaign against Islamist hardliners and suspected ISIS collaborators in Misrata intensified last week; 13 people were taken into custody, including several notable commanders and members of the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB) and Ajdabiya Shura Council. The arrests were conducted in accordance with the Libyan General Prosecutor’s issuance of over 800 warrants for arrest in connection with terrorism.

On 19 October, the LNA allegedly arrested a former ISIS member who was hiding in Derna. Anis Bujeela al-Awami (aka al-Asla) purportedly joined ISIS in 2014, before defecting to the DMSC with other fighters in 2015, prior to the ISIS withdrawal from the city that year.

WESTERN RESPONSE
On 22 October, the second round of meetings in the UN-facilitated Libyan political talks concluded without setting a plan or agenda for the next gathering of the Joint Drafting Committee. UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame remains enthusiastic and has emphasized that despite contention on “bottleneck” issues such as Article 8, progress was made on many points in the second round. Salame hopes to have some sort of agreement or amendment in order before the LPA is set to ‘expire’ on 17 December.

On 23 October, the Egyptian military reported that its air force hit a convoy of eight vehicles carrying munitions near Egypt’s western border with Libya. It is reported that the strike killed the militants on board, but the official statement did not include details about the number of fatalities or which militant group was involved. The strike follows the deadly attack on Egyptian security forces southwest of Cairo on 20 October.

Libya-Analysis is the most read independent English-language blog on Libyan affairs. It is run by Jason Pack, founder of EyeOnISISinLibya.com and researcher of World History at Cambridge University

This article was republished with explicit permission from the author.