December 1, 2015 – The Islamic State has established four hubs in Libya and its current strength consists of about 3,000 fighters but local groups are resisting its expansion, a Security Council sanctions monitoring team said in a report released on Tuesday.
The report, which refers to the group as ISIL, states that it has established hubs in Tripoli, Ajdabiya, Derna and Sirte, where it appears to be strongest and is in control of the city but facing strong resistance from armed residents.
The report says ISIL’s expansion in Lybia is contingent on forming alliances with local groups and its branch in Sirte consists of fighters who previously were members of Ansar al Sharia.
The core strength of ISIL in Libya consists of Libyans returning to the country after fighting with the group in Iraq and Syria, as well as foreign fighters joining them, mostly from Maghreb countries.
The full report is here.
– Denis Fitzgerald