It is worth noting that Islamic State does not have the monopoly on brutal jihadism. From time to time it is confronted by others with an equally medieval take on punishment, as a local IS commander caught by other jihadis fighting to control a strategically important Libyan port would attest had he not been hanged.
**GAME OF THRONES SPOILER ALERT**
The Daily Beast reports the captured Islamic State (IS) commander, thought to be an Iraqi called Abu-Ali al-Anbari, was paraded through the streets of Derna and subjected to the taunts of onlookers. A source said al-Anbari was marched ‘Cersei Lannister-style’ – an allusion to the Game of Thrones character who was forced to walk naked through the streets to atone for her sins in the most recent season finale.
The gruesome parade through the eastern Libyan city ended at the gallows where the commander was hanged.
Similar in intent to the brutal atrocities recorded by IS and distributed worldwide by social media, the public execution was a statement to the local population and world at large – this is what happens when you fight for IS.
Al-Anbari is thought to be one of a number of veterans analysts say travelled from Iraq and Syria to support IS efforts in Libya. His executioners were from the Mujahideen Shura Council, an al Qaeda-linked coalition formed in 2014 that has been fighting for control of Derna. According to The Daily Beast the port of Derna is a well-established jihadi centre which during the Iraq war produced more fighters to attack coalition forces, as a proportion of its population, than any other city in the Middle East.
The humiliating killing served as a reminder that IS does not exercise control of Libya. As Breitbart London recently reported following comments made by French Minister of Defence, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Libya, with its two governments vying for legitimacy, is no longer a functioning state. Instead it has been an arms and drugs bazar for some time and is also now, in parts, an international jihadi training camp.
IS is said to occupy up to 200 kilometres of Libyan coastline, including the coastal cities of Benghazi and Sirte. Le Drian noted that means IS may gain control of the migrant traffic from Libya to Europe. Echoing previous warnings from Nigel Farage, he added:
“…and then terrorism is going to be strengthened in Europe because there’ll be two new elements for [IS]. First they’ll have more and more financial assets, because of all the taxes that are going to proceed for the crossing of the Meditterranean, and then terrorist infiltration among the migrants. So we are facing, now, a serious situation… and if we do nothing this is exactly what is going to happen.”