The Guardian reports: It is a warm October evening in Derna, a small town on Libya’s north east coast, 450 miles from the capital, Tripoli.
The main square is packed with young men, brought by a summons from the town’s self-proclaimed emir to swear allegiance to a newly formed Islamic caliphate.
The emir, on a stage just visible through the jumping throng, calls for the crowd to repeat his calls to join the a caliphate, to listen and follow orders, and to acclaim that the Islamic State (Isis) is here to stay.
To each call, they repeat the chant, roaring their support – and with that, the emir declares Derna the first town in Libya to join the Islamic State, making common cause with fighters in Iraq and Syria.
This week, the Pentagon went public with its concerns, when the commander of the US army’s Africa Command told reporters that Isis – also known as Isil – is now running training camps in Libya, where as many as 200 fighters are receiving instruction. [Continue reading…]