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Islamic State fears will fuel Maghreb political risks

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Significance

The request comes after extremists affiliated with Islamic State group (ISG) beheaded 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya on February 15. The slayings raise new fears of ISG expansion across the Maghreb, and with it increased pressure for an intervention in Libya. However, military intervention in Libya is unlikely to produce a sustained solution without a stable government.

Impacts

  • Politicising the ISG threat will make it more difficult for governments to address the broader fight against radicalism.
  • Counterterrorism laws criminalising legitimate dissent will reinforce the cycle of government repression and radicalisation in the region.
  • Pressure will mount on Western governments to expand coalition airstrikes against ISG and jihadi-salafist positions in Libya.
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