The Islamic State today claimed Wednesday’s terrorist attack which left 7 people dead in western Libya.
Militants of the Islamic State stormed Wadi Kaam checkpoint (150 km east of Tripoli) at around 6.30 of Wednesday morning, killing 7 guards and injuring 10 others. One of the attackers was killed during the operation and subsequently identified as Ali Ibrahim al-Dheeb, a resident of the neighbouring town of al-Khoms said to had fought alongside Benghazi’s Ansar al-Sharia in 2014.
Wednesday’s attack came just hours after an audio message by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the terror group’s emir, in which he urged his followers in Libya to carry out terrorist attacks. In a recording released in the early hours of Wednesday by Islamic State’s al-Furqan media foundation, Baghdadi called on his followers to persevere, ‘immigrate’ to Libya, Iraq and Syria, and instructed followers in those countries and across the world to attack “the apostates and worshippers of the cross”.
The interior ministry of Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) has responded by ramping up security in Tripoli. Abdussalam Ashour, the acting interior minister, said they have arrested three of the attackers, however, Islamic State’s statement claimed that all attackers “have returned safely”.
Dheeb’s body was taken to Misrata where it has been decapitated by relatives of one of the victims who later posted graphic photos of the severed head on social media. Absence of functioning judiciary in the war-torn country has led many to take the law into their own hands. A member of the Libyan National Army (LNA) sparked an international outcry and landed himself an international arrest warrant after carrying out summary executions of unarmed Islamic State prisoners in Benghazi.