On March 20, 2015, the information bureau of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria's Al-Raqqa province released a seven-minute video titled "Messages for the Caliphate's Soldiers in Libya". In it, four ISIS members of North African origin who are fighting in Syria convey a message of support to their brethren in Libya. In particular, they encourage them in their war against local forces that are fighting against them, including the forces of General Khalifa Haftar and the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Fajr Libya militia, which is supported by Turkey. Referring to these forces as "Sahwat" – the name of the anti-ISIS tribal militias in Iraq – the speakers point out that the mujahideen in Iraq and Syria contended successfully with the Sahawat there, and that their brethren in Libya are expected to be just as successful against their own enemies.
The following are the main points of the video, which was posted on the jihadi forum Shumoukh Al-Islam.[i]
The first speaker notes that the Libyan "Sahawat" operate in the same way was the Iraqi and Syrian ones, though their names and the people in them are different. He claims that such "apostate" forces always crop up following mujahideen victories, and are established by the Western "Crusaders" as a means of last resort.
The second speaker likewise claims that he and his comrades bested the Sahawat in Syria and Iraq and taught them a lesson. He urges his comrades to fight the Libyan Sahawat with all their might, in order to institute shari'a law for the sake of the Muslim people of Libya.
The third speaker urges the Libyan fighters to stand fast because the eyes of Muslims throughout North Africa are upon them, noting: "Oh my brothers in Libya, oh lions of Derna, oh lions of Benghazi, oh lions of Sirt, do not surrender the land and its believers to these apostates. Be strong and patient and know that your brothers in Tunis, Algiers and all places await you. You are like a strong fortress. Know that your brothers in the Tunisian prisons and everywhere await you. So hasten to them! Attack the apostates just as [the Caliph Abu Bakr] did, and show us their blood and severed limbs". He adds that the war is an unavoidable test for the brothers in Libya, and that he and his comrades trust them, for they are the best of fighters, and they are "men who yearn for death more than the enemy yearns for life." Finally, he concedes that the brothers in Syria and Iraq found the fight against the Sahawat difficult, but that this only made the eventual victory sweeter.
[i] Shamikh1.info, March 20, 2015.