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Islamic State Seizes the City of Derna

Updated on November 20, 2014

Islamic State is now in Libya

Not reported at all was the fact that the city of Derna in Libya, a city of 100,000, fell to the Islamic State weeks ago to 800 fighters, many returning from Syria. Its soccer stadium is now used to perform beheadings from those who oppose them. Derna is just 200 miles from Egypt and near the coast.

Just how IS managed to do this without much gunfire remains a mystery of sorts. Obviously, they took advantage of the political chaos in Libya, who now have IS police cars and control the city government. The Islamic State in Libya has about six training camps around the city. The city fell simply because some of the government factions are pro-IS. Those who did not support IS were outnumbered. This IS faction is called, "Barqa".

Controlling all aspects of Derna's infrastructure, those that fled indicate it resembles Raqqa, Syria. The public beheadings have included western journalists, non-muslims, etc. With Derna in their control, the tentacles of IS have already spread westward with a small presence in Benghazi, Sirte, Bayda and sections of Tripoli. Recent terror attacks have come from IS.

Egypt is concerned because of the recent terror group Ansar Beit al Maqdis' recent declaration and alliance to IS. Though it is small group based in the Sinai, it will no doubt get support from the richest terrorist group breathing fumes of radical Islam. The Libyan airforce has opposed IS with some air sorties against them, but as we know, air attacks alone cannot stop ground advances.

The good news is that interviews with the citizens of Derna all indicate the opposite of what the city government wants- the people do not want IS there but are utterly powerless to remove them.

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