The so-called Islamic State (IS) in Libya has regained the spotlight in 2019, directing international attention to the restless country. Having been driven out of its stronghold in the coastal area of Sirte in late 2016, IS has become a point of reference in attempts by groups within the country to discredit those they are fighting, a way of identifying the enemy. The critical question now is “What is IS doing?” Is it an organisation in the process of “regrouping” and regaining strength, potentially even controlling territory? Or is it an uncoordinated bundle of individuals facing asymmetric threats that will always inhibit its local success? From this, additional questions arise: what are the implications for the terrorism threat in Europe, what with Libya being so close to European shores? These, among others, are the main questions this paper seeks to address.
Author: Inga Kristina Trauthig
This paper was presented at the 3rd conference of the European Counter Terrorism Centre (ECTC) Advisory Network on terrorism and propaganda, 9-10 April 2019, at Europol Headquarters, The Hague. The views expressed are the authors’ own and do not necessarily represent those of Europol.