“Fear” of Influence

Isil’s new offshoot in Derna, Libya, has been carrying out floggings, here on a man reportedly caught drinking wine

ISIL has asserted itself within Libyan borders, reportedly claiming occupation of Derna and Benghazi. My first article from the Telegraph accentuates the driving factors to the ongoing insurgency of ISIL in Libya and how the threat is even more extreme than that of Iraq and Syria, especially in the Eastern city of Derna which is the historic recruiting ground for Jihad fighters to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.¬†One reason being the Islamist ideology in itself, rejecting any form of a modern state and the institutions that accompany its success. For example in Libya the leader of the AS branch declares that his militants will not disarm or demobilize until sharia law is imposed. Second, during Gaddafi’s rule he unleashed a crackdown on all Islamic expression. The brutality shown towards Islamic groups during this time has fueled their resentment towards sectarian rule and has urged them to push for the rejection of state institutions even more so. My second article conveys AS’s occupation of Benghazi, claiming it to be the newest Islamic emirate.

Historically we can conclude that anarchy and civil war, especially between Islamic and sectarian groups, is a breeding ground for ISIL insurgency. The IS is known to prey on weak warring states in order to announce themselves as the way to peace and order, the same way most authoritarian regimes come into power. The ongoing civil war and militant conflicts coupled with obsolete government authority has laid the foundation for the birth of IS in Libya. As a terrorist group ISIL lacks the resources and conventional warfare capabilities to gain power through traditional means, so alternatively they must rely on highly visible, symbolic attacks that will undermine the target population simultaneously fueling their support. With these major cities in Libya now occupied by the IS has really impacted my understanding of the regional proxy war. These proxy actors such as Egypt, UAE, Turkey, and Qatar providing military aid to opposing militant groups are not only urging for stability, but rather fighting in a war much more significant. Outsiders may view Libyan anarchy as another Middle Eastern state in need of a stable government, but thats only how it began. The conflict has escalated to a regional battle between ISIL supporters and ISIL opposers.


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