The Telegraph reports: The United States is basing plans for military intervention in Libya on faulty intelligence, Western officials and country experts have told the Sunday Telegraph.
American intelligence agencies assess that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) has doubled in size in Libya, with between 5,000 and 6,500 fighters in the country.
Privately, however, some US officials say they believe these estimates to be overblown. Independent experts have come to the same conclusion.
“The estimates of the number of jihadists is grossly exaggerated,” said Karim Mezran, a Libya expert with the Atlantic Council in Washington.
Whilst Mr Mezran and other analysts were loathe to put a number on the size of the organisation, citing the chaos and lack of access to Isil areas in Libya, all said they believed the real figure to be only 20 to 40 per cent of the US estimate. [Continue reading…]