The Islamic State Takes on Egypt, Threatens Rome

On Tuesday, Libyan terrorists associated with the Islamic State took over 20 Egyptians hostage. The terrorists claimed this was revenge for Egyptian airstrikes in Libya.

The previous day, Egypt’s air force had bombed Islamic State targets in Libya. This was retaliation for the terrorist group’s beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in the Libyan city of Sirte. The Islamic State had released a video of the beheadings on Sunday.

Egypt also called on the United States-led coalition to broaden its efforts to North Africa. The coalition is currently focusing on Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq.

Sunday’s video included a boast by the terrorists to “conquer Rome.” Libya is less than 500 miles away from Italy’s southern tip. And it is now home to the Islamic State’s strongest presence outside of its core territory in Syria and Iraq.

Political support for Italian military involvement is growing. President of the Senate Defense Commission Nicola Latorre warned Monday that Italy must be ready to engage in military intervention to stop the advance of the Islamic State in Libya should diplomatic efforts fail.

The increased terrorist activity is acting as a catalyst for powers in Europe and the Middle East. Iran is using the Islamic State’s advances to increase its control of Iraq and reduce resistance to its nuclear program. Europe is bolstering its military capabilities and taking a more active role in the Middle East. The Trumpet expects these trends to continue. To learn more about the effects of the Islamic State’s rampage, read our Trumpet article “The World’s Newest Most Radical ‘State.’”