The first to suffer was Syria and since then the gruesome effects have been spreading in the region and beyond, to Africans and Europeans, writes Mark Curtis.
by Mark Curtis
Part 5 - Disastrous Foreign Policy
The fall-out from Libya spreads even wider, however. By 2016, U.S. officials reported signs that Nigeria’s Boko Haram jihadists, responsible for numerous gruesome attacks and kidnappings, were sending fighters to join IS in Libya, and that there was increased cooperation between the two groups.
The International Crisis Group notes that it was the arrival of weapons and expertise from Libya and the Sahel that enabled Boko Haram to fashion the insurgency that plagues north-western Nigeria today. There have even been claims that Boko Haram answers to IS commanders in Libya.
In addition to these 14 countries, fighters from several other states have joined IS militants in Libya in recent years.
Indeed, it is estimated that almost 80 percent of IS membership in Libya is non-Libyan, including from countries such as Kenya, Chad, Senegal and Sudan. These foreign fighters are potentially available to return to their own countries after receiving training.
The true extent of the fall-out from the Libya war is remarkable: it has spurred terrorism in Europe, Syria, North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.
Islamic State, although now nearly defeated in Syria and Iraq, is far from dead. Indeed, while Western leaders seek to defeat terrorism militarily in some places, their disastrous foreign policy choices have stimulated it in others.