What ISIS in Libya tells us about the changing terrorist threat

Conditions in Libya constitute a humanitarian crisis. The civilian population struggles to gain access to basic services such as healthcare, fuel, and electricity, and almost half a million people are internally displaced as government forces and dozens of militias continue to clash within the country. One of the side effects of the 2011 intervention by France, Britain, the US and NATO, has been to allow the entrenchment within Libya of a series of radical Islamist actors. Suppressed under Qaddafi, these groups emerged as the fiercest rebels in the ensuing conflict – meanwhile, the weakness of the central authorities, and the lack of support from the western governments that backed the military strikes, has led directly to the breakdown of the rule of law and the empowerment of violent and unaccountable militia. Though not as formidable as al-Qaeda, Isis remains a force inside Libya and, as the crisis continues to escalate, social and economic collapse in Libya will be increasingly bound up with the terrorism threat picture in Europe. Dr Alia Brahimi is an academic, analyst and commentator specialising in the politics of the Middle East, with particular expertise on ISIS and also Libya. She is co-founder of Legatus Global, a strategic intelligence and advisory firm, and a former research fellow at Oxford University and the London School of Economics.  Alia is a regular contributor to Al Jazeera and appears frequently in the international media, most recently on BBC Radio 4’s The Today Programme, BBC Ten O’Clock News, Al Jazeera’s Inside Story, National Public Radio (USA) and BBC Newsnight.

See recent Guardian article “Why Libya is still a global terror threat”.

Cafe Date – 18.45 Monday 25th September