Egypt, UK Attacks Bring New Focus on Libya

Heavily Divided Libya Seen as 'Haven' for Islamists

Recent terror attacks in Egypt and in Manchester have brought a new round  of international focus to Libya, and the state the nation has been in since the NATO-imposed regime change, which has boiled down to three governments, none of which control much territory of their own, and a lot of independent cities.

Egypt was quick to blame fighters from Libya for last Friday’s attack on a busload of Christians being taken to a monastery in southern Egypt, and responded with airstrikes against Derna, a Libyan city with a long history of hosting Islamist groups.

Manchester is a bit less straightforward, despite officials putting the word “Libya” all over it, as the attacker was actually born in Britain, from Libyan parents. While this too is being presented as a sign of Libya being a “haven” for terrorism, Manchester appears to have been a domestic attack.

Still, Libya’s anti-Gadhafi rebellion itself involved substantial numbers of Islamist fighters, and unsurprisingly, those factions didn’t disappear when the fighting was over, but moved in and established themselves in various positions of influence around the country.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of