“Our forces apprehended on Tuesday a leader of the terrorist organisation Daesh, involved in the planning and command of terrorist acts that targeted the institutions of our country and their fallen officials,” Abdelhamid Dbeibah, head of the United Nations-supported Libyan government, said during a live television broadcast, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.
The government’s media office offered no further details on the identity or nationality of the alleged extremist, who was arrested in a joint military operation.
Dbeibah also renewed his government’s commitment to “combat terrorism in all its forms,” to “prosecute anyone involved” in terrorist acts, and to “strengthen stability throughout the country.”
On May 2, 2018, 14 people were killed in a suicide attack claimed by ISIS on the headquarters of the Libyan High Electoral Commission in Tripoli.
On September 10, 2018, a suicide attack by the extremist group against the headquarters of the Libyan National Oil Company in the capital killed two and wounded 10 company staff.
On December 25, 2018, three people, including a Libyan diplomat, were killed in an attack claimed by ISIS against the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
ISIS has taken advantage of the disintegration of Libya’s security apparatus since the 2011 fall of dictator Muammar Gaddafi to carry out several deadly attacks across the country. It also has set up strongholds in the eastern and northern towns of Derna and Sirte, from which it had been driven out in 2018 and 2016, respectively.