By Rakesh Raman
The Islamic State (IS or ISIS – Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) and its affiliate terrorist groups have now taken complete control of Derna, a city on the coast of the Mediterranean, in Libya. The city has a population of 80,000 and it is near Egyptian border.
Last month, ISIS had declared Derna as part of its Caliphate and ISIS caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi became its leader.
Meanwhile, the online encyclopedia Wikipedia has also started showing Derna as part of the Islamic State. On its site, Wikipedia mentions Derna as a part of Islamic State (de facto; as a matter of fact) while it belongs to Libya according to law (de jure).
In its report of Tuesday, CNN says that fighters loyal to ISIS are now in complete control of the city of Derna, which is just 200 miles from the southern shores of the European Union (EU).
In fact, EU and Libya are so close that EU has established an integrated Border Management Assistance Mission in Libya (EUBAM Libya) which supports the Libyan authorities in developing border management and security at the country’s land, sea, and air borders.
However, as ISIS has indicated, it is expected to soon invade some areas of Europe. The U.S. is already apprehensive of ISIS’ unchecked strides that are advancing toward Europe.
In a recent issue of its Dabiq magazine, ISIS has quoted U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel : “While ISIL (ISIL is the American term for ISIS) clearly poses an immediate threat to American citizens in Iraq and our interests in the Middle East, we also know that thousands of foreign fighters, including Europeans and more than 100 Americans have travelled to Syria. With passports that give them relative freedom of movement, these fighters can exploit ISIL’s safe haven to plan, coordinate and carry out attacks against the United States and Europe.”
On Sunday, ISIS had beheaded a U.S. aid worker Abdul-Rahman (formerly Peter) Kassig. After the beheading of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, Kassig is the third American hostage executed by ISIS in the past few months.
Moreover, ISIS has decided to produce its own currency in the form of gold, silver, and copper coins to be called Islamic Dinars. It will use this currency in the areas under its control.
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Photo courtesy: Dabiq