Special to WorldTribune.com
Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) jihadists beheaded 12 police officers in Sabratha, Libya on Feb. 24 after briefly taking over the city’s security headquarters.
Taher al-Gharabili, head of Sabratha Military Council, told The Associated Press that ISIL gunmen “exploited a security vacuum” by deploying in the city center as the military was conducting raids elsewhere.
The terrorists used the headless bodies of the police officers to block the roads leading to the security headquarters, which they occupied for about three hours, said a second security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
ISIL “is creating a real African jihadist army, we can see mass arrivals of jihadis, they are impossible to control for the simple reason that they use the same route as migrants,” said Paris-based terrorism expert David Thomson.
Sabratha, on the northwest coast of Libya, is a departure point for migrants seeking travel to Europe.
Last week, U.S. airstrikes killed dozens of suspected ISIL militants in the city along with two Serbian hostages kidnapped last year.
“The airstrikes can reduce the shock that is coming, but they need ground troops to stop it,” Thomson said.
Brett McGurk, the U.S. special envoy for combating ISIL, told reporters in Washington that the terrorist group is “trying to attract as many foreign fighters to Libya as possible.”
Sources say ISIL fighters are streaming in to Libya from Tunisia and sub-Saharan Africa, mingling with thousands of migrants crossing the Sahara seeking boats to Europe.