Islamic State Senior Commander Arrested in Northwestern Libya

Libyan soldiers manning a military outpost in Sirte
Libyan soldiers manning a military outpost in Sirte
Libyan soldiers manning a military outpost in Sirte

OSINT SUMMARY

Friday 26th February 2016, a senior Islamic State commander alongside his two aides was arrested near the Libyan capital city of Tripoli.

The arrests come amid ongoing conflicts between the extremists and militants loyal to the un-recognized government based in Tripoli.

The local Islamic State commander identified as Mohammed Sa’ad al-Tajuri better known with as nom de guerre, Abu Suleiman, was arrested in the city of Sabratha, located some 70 kilometers (45 miles) west of the capital, on Thursday.

On Thursday, clashes broke out in two areas west of Sabratha between Islamic State Takfiris and forces aligned to the Tripoli government.

The heavy exchange of gunfire ensued a day after the Middle East-based Islamic State terrorists were driven out of Sabratha by militias after briefly capturing the city and killing 18 militants.

RIVAL FACTIONS

Libya has been faces with instability since 2011, when the country’s then leader, Muammar Gaddafi, was overthrown and armed groups as well as regional factions engaged in conflict in an effort to control oil wealth.

Tripoli is now being controlled by a political faction calling itself ‘Libya Dawn’ allied with powerful armed forces based in the city of Misrata while the internationally-recognized government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni operates in the northeastern city of Bayda, with its elected House of Representatives based in Tobruk.

Islamist militants have taken advantage of political chaos and a lack of central authority to establish a presence in Libya

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