Special Report

Whispering Bell’s Special Report explores trends in IED/VBIED usage in Libya. The report is based on extensive data, dating back to 2013, gathered by Whispering Bell. The report provides an analysis of IED/VBIED attacks, including motives and success rates, in Tripoli and other parts of the country. The report also contains an assessment of common trends in IED/VBIED usage based on Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), and includes future capabilities to carry out such attacks.

  • The proliferation of weapons and ammunition stockpiles from Muammar Gaddafi’s regime enabled insurgents to employ IEDs/VBIEDs
  • Throughout the reporting period, the IED/VBIED threat in Libya has transformed based on changes in the threat environment, the nature of the conflict, and armed groups’ areas of operations
  • There have been over 260 nationwide IED/VBIED incidents across the country, including foiled attempts.
  • Benghazi has seen more attacks than Tripoli due to previous military operations in the eastern city.
  • The pressure-plate mechanism IED remains widespread across the country.
o In Tripoli, infighting between militias, could lead to increased employment of IEDs/VBIEDs.
  • IS militants and other insurgents will continue to employ IEDs/VBIEDs in Libya to make up for technological disparity, though they do not appear to have capabilities to stage significant attacks as of now.
  • The Oil Crescent region, the country’s oil fields, terminals, and refineries in remote desert areas, will continue to represent a highly lucrative IED/VBIED target for insurgents, especially IS.


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