Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | Trump Administration | War on Terrorism | libya | terrorism | abu bakr al baghdadi | europe

ISIS Using Libya to Target Europe, US

Image: ISIS Using Libya to Target Europe, US
(Massimo Percossi/AP)

By    |   Sunday, 01 October 2017 03:43 PM

Donald Trump and coalition forces are demolishing ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Territory is won every day and dozens of jihadis are being eliminated. Gen. George Patton would be proud.

As the ISIS "caliphate" collapses before our eyes, its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is plotting his escape and re-emergence.

As reported by Newsmax on Friday, Baghdadi views Libya as the ideal place to regroup and launch ISIS 2.0.

Intelligence services believe this potential development has a lot of truth to it. As Libya slides toward becoming a failed state amidst a grinding civil war, Baghdadi views the country's lawlessness, desperate population, wealth of natural resources, and proximity to Europe as the perfect recipe for an ISIS relaunch.

Additional support for this argument comes from recent reports indicating intense fighting in western Libya is conducted almost entirely by thousands of ISIS militants from Syria and Iraq.

As MENA politics expert Richard Galustian states, "thousands of ISIS fighters from Syria and Iraq are to blame for increased fighting in Libya, especially around Sabratha. Funding of militias by European governments such as Italy is much less a cause of increased hostilities."

Baghdadi also views Libya as the nexus point of a worldwide criminal smuggling syndicate that would make Red Reddington blush.

Drugs from Venezuela, migrants from Africa, and terrorists from Central Asia all are trafficked through Libya into Europe.

Whoever sits on top of the throne of Libya can line their pockets with illicit smuggling profits worths billions of dollars annually while sneaking jihadis into the Western world.

And, it is not a huge leap to consider Baghdadi will smuggle terrorists into America along well-worn drug smuggling routes through the Caribbean and Central America once he establishes a base in Libya.

These developments create geopolitical instability because ISIS activity from Libya will spill over into countries that are critical counterterrorism partners for the United States.

Many ISIS fighters migrating from Syria and Iraq to Libya are Tunisian and hell-bent on bringing their ISIS reign of terror to their home country just across the border from Libya.

A resurgence of ISIS in Libya will cost the Trump administration billions of dollars in additional counterterrorism aid annually to Tunisia.

Egypt is also threatened by increased terrorist activity in Libya as many jihadis seek revenge for the strong counterterrorism push of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Destabilization of U.S. allies will have ramifications throughout North Africa, Israel, and the GCC.

It is imperative the United States takes preventive action to stop ISIS from regrouping in Libya.

The United States should invest in intelligence assets and training counterterrorism forces in Libya to support military operations against terrorist militias.

As U.S. military firepower eliminates terrorist forces, U.S. diplomatic support for regional cease-fires is a crucial prelude to elections open to any Libyan civilians to participate in.

Support for a plan to stabilize and build institutions, such as a functioning central bank and a strong military under civilian control, is the only way to ensure long-lasting peace in Libya.

It is up to the United States to lead the world in a cost effective way to stabilize Libya and prevent ISIS from gaining a foothold to fund and launch attacks against U.S. regional allies, Europe, and the U.S. homeland.

Christopher Nixon Cox is the grandson of the 37th President of the United States, Richard Nixon. Phillip Escaravage is a Libya analyst.

© 2018 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
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As Libya slides toward becoming a failed state amidst a grinding civil war, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi views the country's lawlessness, desperate population, wealth of natural resources, and proximity to Europe as the perfect recipe for an ISIS relaunch.
libya, terrorism, abu bakr al baghdadi, europe
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2017-43-01
Sunday, 01 October 2017 03:43 PM
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