Mapping Libyan Jihadist Networks for UW
Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States
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The post-Gaddafi Libyan war continues along fractured lines of allegiance. Various militia networks are in open armed conflict with each other and pitted against other jihadist networks. The central government is split in two and the United Nations is working to broker a unity government that can offer at least a partial solution. One of the contributing factors to this conflict and the pervasiveness of jihadist networks in Libya is a Libyan history of conflict stretching back to World War I. These jihadist networks arose both before and during the civil war. The latest jihadist organization to entrench itself in the civil war is the Daesh. In this thesis, Daeshs expansion in Libya is explored through the lens of a political process model. Then, jihadist networks in Libya are mapped. Their social ties between each other and other non-jihadist elements of Libyan civil society are illuminated in a search of candidate brokers. The most influential jihadist brokers are identified and ranked in terms of their relative influence. Finally, these insights are used to help define new strategies for contending with jihadists in Libya.