ISIS Releases Two of Four Indian Hostages in Libya

Islamic State fighters

The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) released two Indian teachers out of the four they abducted last Wednesday in Libya. Indian Foreign Minister Sushama Swaraj tweeted about the release.

The four men worked at the University of Sirte, which closed in February after ISIS captured the town. They hoped the university would reopen, but decided to return home. All four were on their way to Tripoli to return to India, but were “detained at a checkpoint approximate 50 kilometres [31 miles] from Sirte.” A wife’s phone call is the only reason Indian officials knew about the abduction:

Incidentally one of the mobile phones was left behind in the taxi, according to sources. And when wife of the individual concerned, called up on the number, the taxi driver picked up the phone and informed her of what had transpired. Late night calls were then made to alert officials at the Indian mission which still operates out of Tripoli.

ISIS moved into Libya in November 2014. They took over Derna, a city home to over 100,000 people and located on the Mediterranean Sea. The terrorists raised their infamous flag on government buildings, plastered their insignia on police cars, and used the soccer stadium to execute people. They captured Sirte, the hometown of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi, in February. Since then, terrorists have kidnapped at least 20 foreign doctors and nurses. They also beheaded 21 Egyptian Christians from Sirte on the Libyan coast.

A militia linked to al-Qaeda drove out ISIS from Derna in June. The Abu Salim Martyrs Brigade fought back after ISIS “fighters assassinated Nasser Aker, a senior figure in Derna’s Jihadi Shura Council.”

“Of course this is a victory for Tripoli because these thuwar [revolutionaries] and their leaders have remained loyal,” explained Libyan government spokesman Jamal Zubia. “Now the Shura Council in Derna is in complete control of the town and there is no IS in Derna. Many have been killed and captured from Daesh [Islamic State] and others have been kicked out. They have now moved 30 or 50km [18 or 31 miles] to the east.”