UN: ISIS in Libya Presenting Itself as Key Bulwark Against Invasion

Nationalist Rhetoric Playing Well in War-Torn Libya

ISIS’ Libyan Emir, Abdul Qadr al-Najdi, today talked up the group’s growing success in Libya, saying that they are growing stronger by the day, and that their territory is becoming a destination for foreign fighters as well as immigrants from all areas.

A new UN report suggested that a key to ISIS’ success in Libya is that the affiliate there is branding itself in nationalistic terms, and presenting itself as a major bulwark against foreign invasion, welcome news for Libyans who have seen foreign intervention as damaging to stability.

That could be a big branding problem for the West, as they have designs on invading Libya to fight ISIS, and UN officials warn that intervention would further polarize the Libyan population, potentially giving ISIS more domestic support.

After the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya, the country was divided largely along local lines, leading to myriad civil wars and no real central government. ISIS used this conflict to set up shop in Libya, and seems to be presenting itself as a way to keep matters from getting worse.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.