January 28, 2015: Attack in Libya

On this day in 2015 terrorists claiming allegiance to ISIS said they were responsible for an armed assault on a luxury hotel in Libya that killed at least eight people.

TRIPOLI, LIBYA – Attacking a hotel must be like shooting fish in a barrel for terrorists. Literally, shooting fish in a barrel.

We have all had bad hotel/motel experiences, right? You know, the time when the place you booked did not quite meet the pics in the online brochure. Or when you had to stop at the last minute to bed down for the night.

No matter how bad your stay may have been I am hopeful – and fairly certain – that it did not involve a terrorist attack.

But that is exactly what happened in Tripoli, Libya.

On this day in 2015

Terrorists claiming allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS) said they were responsible for an armed assault on a luxury hotel that killed at least eight people. Four or five gunmen shouting “God is great” stormed the Corinthia hotel in the early morning, firing their guns into the lobby, battling guards and indiscriminately shooting at civilians.

At least five of those killed were foreign visitors. The US State Department confirmed that an American had been killed, a former Marine working in security. It was the deadliest attack on Western interests in Libya since the assault on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens in 2012 and was also the bloodiest of several recent attacks by Libyans pledging loyalty to ISIS, raising fears that its example was further inflaming Libya’s violence. 

(This was) another reprehensible act of terrorism which deals with a blow to efforts to bring peace and stability to Libya.

EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini

A car bomb had been detonated before the gunmen entered the hotel, probably as a way to divide the security response. Terrorists do that sometimes.

Libya was a hellhole under the former dictator Muammar Qadhafi and remains one since his ignominious death. I wonder which version of their land the average Libyan prefers.

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By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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