Amaq News Agency published a statement conceding that the Islamic State has “retreated” from its positions outside of Derna, Libya but claims the fighters are making progress south of the city.
An infographic in the Islamic State’s Al Naba newsletter highlights the “caliphate’s” fighting against both its jihadist rivals and the Libyan Army in the eastern city of Derna. The Islamic State was forced out of Derna’s center last year, even as it gained ground elsewhere in Libya.
The Treasury Department announced today that three Islamic State officials have been sanctioned. One is a senior official in the “caliphate’s” oil and gas division. A second was the deputy leader of the Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem before swearing allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi and agreeing to establish a foothold for the Islamic State in Gaza. The third is the group’s “chief religious advisor.”
The Mujahideen Shura Council (MSC) in Derna claims to have captured a top Islamic State leader in Libya. The MSC has been battling the Islamic State in Derna since June, but appears to have the upper hand in the jihadists’ infighting.
Earlier this week, one of the Islamic State’s “provinces” in Libya assassinated a veteran jihadist in Derna. The act sparked intense fighting between Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s followers and al Qaeda-allied jihadists in the city.
In addition to serving as a senior MSC leader, Abdallah al Ashqar is on the jihadist group’s military committee, is a “foreign relations official,” and a weapons facilitator.
The US government today added the Mujahidin Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem (MSC) to the foreign terrorist organization list and labeled the group a specially designated global terrorist entity.
The Ibn Taymiyya Media Center (ITMC) has published a banner honoring the “martyrdom” of Abu Khalid al Suri, who was one of al Qaeda’s top men in Syria. The ITMC is the propaganda arm for Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem (MSC) and also publicizes propaganda on behalf of Ansar Jerusalem.