Is IS a credible threat to shipping?
After last week’s warnings, scepticism creeps in.
Is Islamic State a credible threat to Mediterranean shipping?
By Charlie Bartlett from London
Recently, British anti-terrorism group Quilliam intercepted a document from the Islamic State detailing the group’s plan to wreak “pandemonium” in Europe from the Libyan coast targeting commercial shipping.
The report, which calls for the “targeting of the Crusader ships and tankers” – with the “closure of shipping lines”, chillingly, listed as a desirable outcome – has been disregarded by some as bluff and bluster. But evidence shows that the group has made considerable headway in the Libya’s coastal cities, with reports indicating consolidated control over Sirte, and increasing control of the capital Tripoli.
Indeed, a widely quoted Italian defence ministry report notes the group has taken control of ports and vessels on the Mediterranean, while a US intelligence official was quoted by ABC news as saying Islamic State “pretty much own” Libya.
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