Libyan authorities announced on Tuesday that a senior member of the Islamic State (IS) was apprehended in a raid south of Tripoli. The capture of Embarak al-Khazimi was “a great success for our security forces,” according to the interim government of the North African country’s Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah.
A warrant for Khazimi’s arrest had been issued by Libya’s chief prosecutor since 2017. “It will enable us to gather vital information about IS and bring a dangerous terrorist to justice,” Dbeibah added.
Khazimi was apprehended at Bani Walid, about 170 kilometers (105 miles) north of Tripoli on the Libyan desert’s northern edge, by forces from the interior and defense ministries.
Since the fall of Moamer Kadhafi’s regime in 2011, Libya has been divided between rival power centers and torn apart by a bloody conflict involving militias, foreign fighters, and jihadist groups.
IS jihadists established bases in the towns of Sirte and Derna before being driven out in 2016 and 2018. Members of the group have sought refuge in the desert or among the coastal population, but they remain a threat to the country and its neighbors.