Some experts are predicting that Libya may serve as a model on what to expect from ISIS in other countries; namely, that ISIS will find a way to resurrect itself in North Africa and the Middle East. This concern is reflected in the fear of many Christians, who worry that if they return home then they are doing so only until ISIS or a similar group is reestablished in their communities. The conditions that created ISIS and thus increased the persecution of Christians remain in place throughout the region. While we can claim military victory in certain areas, there is much work to be done in protecting Christians in the Middle East and North Africa.
11/17/2017 Libya (Jerusalem Post) – Celebrations of Islamic State essentially being routed from territory in its countries of birth, Syria and Iraq, have taken off worldwide.
Yet a new, and possibly the most comprehensive report to date on the future of all Islamic State arms, is grim.
The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center report, obtained exclusively by The Jeru- salem Post , resoundingly warns that from Libya to the Sinai Peninsula to the Philippines to foreign fighters fleeing Syria and Iraq and returning to their European countries of origin, the Pandora’s box cannot be closed.
The center is renowned for its members’ backgrounds in the Israeli intelligence community and its ongoing contacts with that community, with top current officials also authoring articles in its publications.
ISIS may no longer be a conventional force invasion threat within the Middle East and has lost its main financial weapons and physical recruitment centers. But its unique success in establishing global ISIS-chap- ters and using social media to facilitate ISIS-inspired attacks by local Westerners in their home countries is expected to plague Middle Eastern countries and beyond indefinitely.
Two major ISIS chapters the report said to keep a keen eye on in terms of predicting ISIS’s future in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere are its Libya and Sinai Peninsula branches.
Libya is a strong example of what is next for ISIS, the report said. Like in Syria and Iraq, ISIS Libya succeeded in controlling significant territory for an extended peri- od, and while eventually losing control of it, the group later rallied into new forms of activity.
In Libya, ISIS seized control of the northern region known as Sirte. Around 157,000 of Libya’s 6.4 million people, with 150 miles of coastline, lived under ISIS rule in the Sirte region from early 2015 until last December.
ISIS even defeated attempts to dislodge it from Sirte in the spring of 2015, and lost control only after a seven-month battle with Libyan forces backed by US air strikes.
However, the center said, even after ISIS lost control of the region, “it did not cease to exist, but, rather, changed the pattern of its activities.”
It said that ISIS is now utilizing guerrilla warfare and typical terrorist organization tactics to continue to impact Libya, instead of fighting conventional land battles to hold on to territory.
While tactically retreating into desert areas, especially further south from its prior positions, its surviving core from Sirte is reuniting with other ISIS Libya chapters and systematically establishing new methods to raise funds, such as robbing trucks and traveling migrants.