Herridge: ISIS Has Turned Libya Into New Support Base, Safe Haven
Catherine Herridge reported on "America's Newsroom" today about ISIS's expansion into Libya, which includes training camps and support networks.
Herridge said that a senior U.S. intelligence official confirmed that more than a dozen ISIS members from Iraq and Syria are now operating in Libya, but the U.S. does not have the targeting authority to take them out.
Herridge added that counter-terrorism sources have confirmed that the new support base for ISIS in eastern Libya is now providing "tangible assistance" in the form of training camps around the city of Derna, in addition to a growing number of Libyan fighters joining the terror group in Syria and Iraq.
"From an intelligence perspective, we, I think, clearly need to step up our game from an ISR perspective, where we can operate," Director of National Intelligence James Clapper recently said. "I think there’s a lot of merit to partnering with the French, who have sort of staked out their claim in the Sahel region of North Africa."
Herridge reported that one of the alleged leaders of ISIS in North Africa is Libyan Abdelhakim Belhadj, who was seen by the U.S. as a willing partner in the overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
"Now, it's alleged he is firmly aligned with ISIS and supports the training camps in eastern Libya," Herridge said.
"Critics say Libya's new position as a safe haven for ISIS reflects one of the most significant policy failures of the so-called Arab Spring."
Watch more from Herridge in the "America's Newsroom" clip above.