While the world focuses more and more attention on Syria, the Islamic State is strengthening its position elsewhere in the Mediterranean:
Of those, by far the most important is based in Surt, a Libyan port city on the Mediterranean about 400 miles southeast of Sicily. Western officials familiar with intelligence reports say it is the only affiliate now operating under the direct control of the central Islamic State’s leaders. In Libya, residents of Surt and local militia leaders say the transformation of the Islamic State group here has been evident for months.
“Libya is the affiliate that we’re most worried about,” Patrick Prior, the Defense Intelligence Agency’s top counterterrorism analyst, said at a recent security conference in Washington. “It’s the hub from which they project across all of North Africa.”
The leadership of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, is now clenching its grip on Surt so tightly that Western intelligence agencies say they fear the core group may be preparing to fall back to Libya as an alternative base if necessary, a haven where its jihadists could continue to fight from even if it was ousted from its original territories.
That fallback option is courtesy of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and her reckless “war of choice” in Libya.
Further north — the heart of Europe, really — one German official confirms what everybody suspects and which the Left (and Angela Merkel) cannot admit:
Hans-Georg Maasen, a federal police chief, claimed ISIS extremists hardened on the battlefields of Iraq and Syria are blending in with the migrants and are planning ‘combat missions’ in Europe.
In the wake of the Paris attacks it was revealed several of the gunmen and suicide bombers – who helped slaughter 130 people – had reached the city via Greece posing as asylum seekers.
According to the Austria Press Agency, Mr Maasen said his office was aware of almost 8,000 Islamic radicals in Germany.
It took only eight Islamic radicals to pull off the Paris attack last month.