From the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Libya. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners. Extremist groups including Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL) are responsible for the majority of attacks, which have targeted foreign and diplomatic personnel and premises, international hotels, commercial and oil installations, and government and other official security institutions.

Although GNA- aligned forces, supported by U.S. airstrikes, declared the end of operations against Daesh in Sirte in January, Daesh remain a serious threat to security in Libya.

On 4 October 2017, at least 4 people were killed and many were wounded in a Daesh suicide bomb attack at the main court building in the city of Misrata. On 23 August 2017, at least 11 were killed in a Daesh attack on a checkpoint in the central Jufra region. On 2 October 2016, a Dutch journalist was killed in Sirte, while reporting on the fighting between pro-GNA forces and Daesh. In Dernah, there’s an ongoing conflict between the Libyan National Army and local armed groups.

Terrorist groups in southern and south-west Libya are also of concern and are using the area as a safe haven and transit route. Attacks have been launched in Libya and across the wider region, for example the In Amenas attack in Algeria in January 2013. Armed groups remain largely autonomous due the unstable political and security situation across large areas of Libya.

Travel in border regions is especially risky. Regional extremist groups, including Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, operate in the border areas of northern Mali, Niger and Algeria. They have a proven capability of travelling long distances to carry out attacks, including in neighbouring countries and Libya.


Foreign nationals have recently been kidnapped in the south-west of Libya. There remains a continuing high threat of kidnap from criminal gangs and armed groups across the whole of Libya.

This includes Daesh and Al Qaida affiliated groups who have murdered large numbers of those they have abducted. The kidnap threat is very high across the entire country, not just confined to terrorist strongholds.

Terrorist groups including Daesh, Al Qaida and their affiliates, routinely use kidnapping as a tactic and are capable of conducting kidnappings across borders. The threat of kidnap is particularly high in border areas. There is clear evidence that groups within Libya have both the intent and capability to carry out further kidnappings, and are specifically targeting foreign nationals. A number of foreigners have been kidnapped in recent months.

Daesh, Al Qaida and other terrorist groups view those engaged in humanitarian aid work or journalism as legitimate targets. If you’re kidnapped, the reason for your presence in Libya is unlikely to serve as protection.

Criminal gangs also carry out kidnappings, and there’s a high risk that they would sell hostages on to terrorist groups.

The long standing policy of the British government is not to make substantive concessions to hostage takers. The British government considers that paying ransoms and releasing prisoners increases the risk of further hostage-taking.

See our Sahel page for information on the regional threat.

If you do choose to travel to Libya against FCO advice, you should pay careful attention to your safety and security. Security precautions don’t remove the threat and FCO advice remains against all travel to the country.

Find out more about the global threat from terrorism, how to minimise your risk and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack.

from Travel Advice Summary, which can be found at:

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