Islamic State in Libya was established following the Libyan Civil war that saw Muamar Gadhafi killed and has continuous existed conducting attacks on Libyan forces, police and civilian. The group that was created by the Battar Brigade who had returned to Libya from Syria and pledged allegiance to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) then accepted by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in November 2014. The acceptance into the Islamic State folds was proceeded by the creation and establishment of three Libyan provinces; Wilayah al-Fizan in the desert south, Wilayah al-Barqah in the east, and Wilayah al-Tarabulus in the west. The group expanded rapidly with deadly attacks as they sought to conquer conflict-ridden Libya. In 2016, a seven-month battle drove ISIS from its headquarters in Sirte pushing the militants deeper south into the vast desert in the south. Thus, speculation has been that ISIS has been regrouping in the southern desert and using unorthodox means to get by, recruit new members as well as expand.
Following the liberation of Sirte by Libyan forces backed by Western forces, ISIS leaders fled into the mountainous and deserted region in the south a move that as been deemed as a contributing factor to the alleged regroup and resurgence of the group. In the past two years, the ISIS terror organization has resulted to banditry, kidnaping, looting and human trafficking to sponsor its activities. For instance, ISIS fighters arrested by Libyan authorities have offered distinct intelligence implicating the terror organization in a largescale human trafficking and slave trade network. They have carved a niche from where they use the corridor to give safe passage to migrants form the war-torn Sub-Saharan countries seeking entry into Europe.
ISIS in Libya still causes major strife as it takes advantage of the geographical terrain of the desert and the ill-equipped Libyan forces to pursue them and decimated sleeper cells as well as training bases. Immigrants from the neighboring destitute countries have been lured to join ISIS with the promise of a good pay acquired from roadside attacks of motorists, oil tankers, and goods vehicles tankers traversing the vast desert. While the activities of ISIS go unchecked by the various NATO forces present in the country, it is evident that cumulatively the terror group still causes a major threat that could quite easily spill over to neighboring countries.
Historically, ISIS Libya has always thrived in the presence of conflict, division and disgruntlement of former allies of Gadhafi making it flourish in the current political and economic climate in Libya. The group as shown its formidable ability to mount attacks, recruit members and operate in the uneven desert terrain making it more dangerous than before. The UN-backed government forces in the country, has established surveillance t ensure that the group does not sneak sleeper cells in major cities such as Sirte. Moreover, while as the US has conducted several airstrikes killing high-ranking commanders and decimating cells and training bases more involvement is required to stymie further expansion of ISIS especially with recent intelligence report indicating the massive exodus of ISIS operatives from Iraq and Syria to Libya and the Sinai enclave.