With global attention focused on Iraq and Syria, Libya was left to convulse under the weight of its own brand of political instability and insecurity, yet another failed Arab Spring state.
Of course, mainstream media watched and reported as Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s regime crumbled under an unprecedented, violent popular armed insurgency in 2011. That attention, however, was short-lived and fleeting.
Libya came back into focus on Feb. 14, when Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants published a gruesome video, “A Message Signed in Blood to the Nation of the Cross.” The five-minute video shows ISIS militants simultaneously beheading a group of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians, who had been abducted in Libya earlier this year.
With ISIS now inserted into the mix of Libya’s unravelling, the country is back on the forefront of the war on terror. Two days after the video surfaced, Egypt’s Ambassador to the U.K. Nasser Kamel told the BBC that ISIS would attempt to break into Europe by exploiting conventional migration routes, camouflaging its fighters within the waves of illegal migrants pouring toward Western capitals.
“[There are] boat people who go for immigration purposes and try to cross the Mediterranean. In the next few weeks, if we do not act together, there will be boats full of terrorists also,” Kamel warned on Feb. 16.
Likewise, Italy’s Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni echoed Kamel in comments to parliament on Feb. 18, stressing that ISIS poses “a grave threat” to European security.