Libya: The Next Frontier

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In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, U.S. defense officials announced a rare military strike on a senior Islamic State group (ISG) leader in Libya. Wall-to-wall press coverage of events in Europe made the strike on the Iraqi commander Wissam al-Zubaydi (aka Abu Nabil al Anbari) seem relatively trivial, but underestimating Libya’s strategic importance to the fight against the Islamic State would be a mistake.

Libya is ISG’s most important base outside of the Levant, and it is attracting fighters from throughout North and Sub-Saharan Africa.  Pressure on ISG in Syria and Iraq will make Libya even more important to global extremists. Only 100 miles from European shores, Libya is the third node of a triangle connecting ISG in the Levant with the Maghreb, Africa, and Europe.

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