Should an attack similar to 9/11 erupts any moment, it would’ve been launched from Libya, according to U.S. and European sources who have spoken under the condition of anonymity. The sources said more than a dozen ISIS officials who have come from Iraq and Syria are now operating in Libya.
9/11 from Libya
Sources who have spoken with Fox News said they will not be surprised “if the next 9/11 came out of Libya,” where they said ISIS officials with strong ties to leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi are now active. This poses new problems for the US-led coalition against ISIS, because the U.S. has no authority to launch an attack in Libya, sources told Fox News.
5,000 Foreign Fighters
Libya’s foreign minister Mohammed al-Dairi expressed the same concern. He said there are now more than 5,000 foreign fighters in Libya recruited to join terrorist groups such as ISIS. He had called for the international community to also launch air strikes in Libya to help them fight different terrorist groups gaining control over key locations in the region. He warned that the threat brought by these Islamic militants will move to European countries, most possibly to Italy.
However, the West has denied calls for airstrikes. Both U.S. and Britain said Libya lacks a unified government that can work with the international community.
“The problem is that there isn’t a government in Libya that is effective and in control of its territory. There isn’t a Libyan military which the international community can effectively support. Simply pouring weapons into one faction or the other, which is essentially what has been proposed, is not to bring us to a resolution to the crisis in Libya, and is not going to make Europe safer, is going to make it more at risk,” British foreign secretary Philip Hammond said, as quoted by Newsweek.
Attacks on Libya’s Key Oil Depots and Airports
The concern raised by Fox News’ unnamed sources and by Libya’s foreign minister heightened the already chaotic situation in the country. On March 4, BBC reported members of the Libya Dawn seizing two oil depots in central Libya. Forces of the only internationally recognized government in Tobruk failed to defend the depots, with guards forced to retreat after running out of ammunition. The Libya Dawn has already seized control of Tripoli since 2014.
“Extremists took control of the al-Bahi and al-Mabruk fields and are now heading to seize the al-Dahra field following the retreat of the forces guarding these sites,” Colonel Ali al-Hassi, spokesman for Libya’s oil industry security service, said.