The the Islamic State’s weekly online publication, Al-Nabaa, said in its latest edition published on 21 May that militants of the terror group had launched three attacks against positions of the Libyan National Army in southern Libya.
The publication said that militants of the terror group’s so-called ‘Fezzan Province’ had fired a Katyusha rocket at Tamanhant air base on 17 May, and another one on the following day at the barracks of the Libyan National Army’s 628 Infantry Battalion which is based in Taraghin. And on 19 May, terrorists affiliated with the group fired a third rocket at the barracks of the Libyan National Army’s Khalid Bin Walid Battalion which is located in Um Al-Aranib (93km south of Sabha). The publication said the three attacks were part of the so-called “attrition campaign” which had been launched by Islamic State affiliates across the world.
Libyan counter-terrorism officials told our website that dormant cells affiliated with the Islamic State remain operational across Tebu-dominated areas near Libya’s southern borders. It is believed that Libyan and non-Libyan Islamic State militants are hiding among civilians in the towns of Qatroun, Temessa (161km south of Sabha) and Um Aranib. Over the last few years, international actors, including the US Africa Command, had been targeting Islamic State convoys across Libya’s southern region with a series of air strikes the latest of which on 26 September 2019, resulting in the death of 17 terrorists near the town of Ghoudwa (60 km south of Sabha).
Our own investigation and regular monitoring of the online activities of jihadi groups operating inside Libya, has shown a noticeable increase in the online activities among militants and sympathisers of the terror group, particularly, in Al-Zawia, Tajoura, Misrata and Bani Walid. The increased online footprint manifested in the rise of online accounts as well as commentaries on the ongoing Libyan conflict and Islamic State activities in West Africa, Sinai, Yemen, Syria and Iraq.
The similarity between the three attacks suggests that they had been carried out by a very small group that has an effective logistic access and and intelligence capabilities across the affected region.