Gang connected to ISIS arrested in Tripoli
On 7 March, a gang of five men suspected of having connections to Islamic State (ISIS) were arrested as they reportedly attempted in to ‘infiltrate’ Tripoli. Reports suggest three of those arrested were dressed as women. Throughout the last three weeks, reputable sources have warned of an impending ISIS attack in Tripoli. No attack has materialised so far, with suggestions that local security forces thwarted an attempt recently. However, the potential for an attack remains moderately high. The Government of National Accord (GNA) does not control a single consolidated security force in western Libya. The militias aligned to the GNA do not directly follow its directions and in many cases actively work to undermine security governance. This has created a fractured security landscape, allowing ISIS to operate in the gaps and launch successful attacks on key institutions. Based on ISIS’s previous attacks in Tripoli, any potential attack is likely to target the headquarters of key state institutions. The Central Bank of Libya, High Council of State and the United Nations headquarters could be the focus of ISIS attacks in Tripoli in the near future given the ease of attack and attractiveness as high impact symbolic targets.