Jihadists loyal to the Islamic State overran a checkpoint manned by the Libyan National Army (LNA) yesterday. A spokesman for the LNA confirmed that 11 victims were beheaded.
The State Department’s newly released Country Reports on Terrorism 2016 says that “many members” of the Islamic State’s Libyan branch fanned out across the country after the battle for Sirte last year. Sirte had served as the group’s stronghold inside Libya.
The Department of Justice announced today that Aaron Travis Daniels pleaded guilty terror-related charges after trying to join the Islamic State in Libya last November. Daniels had been in contact with an Islamic State “external attack planner” who encouraged him emigrate to North Africa for jihad, according to the DOJ.
British officials say they are still investigating a possible “wider conspiracy” behind the Manchester Arena bombing on May 22. Meanwhile, British interior minister Amber Rudd told BBC News that security services are “looking at 500 different plots” with 3,000 possible terrorists on the “top list” and 20,000 “underneath that.”
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for yesterday’s massacre of at least 28 Coptic Christians traveling on a bus in Minya, Egypt. The group’s arms in both the Sinai and mainland Egypt have repeatedly targeted Copts. The Egyptian government has retaliated by bombing suspected training camps in Libya.
International authorities are investigating the possibility that a “network” assisted Salman Abedi in the Manchester Arena bombing earlier this week. The investigation stretches from the UK to Libya, where Abedi’s younger brother and father have been detained. His brother, Hashim, has allegedly admitted prior knowledge of the plot and that the siblings were Islamic State members.
During his last press briefing as Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter said that some of the Islamic State jihadists recently targeted in Libya were “external plotters, who were actively planning operations against our allies in Europe.”
The US bombed two Islamic State camps 28 miles southwest of Sirte, Libya last night. The camps were located in a remote desert location, but were part of the jihadists’ plan to mount a comeback in the more populated areas of Libya. The Islamic State lost control of Sirte late last year.