Libya Analysis: Part I, Overview


Map of Libya (click for full-size)

by Sundar J.M. Brown

Public anti-government demonstrations of significant scale were first noted in Libya on 15 January, 2011.  The demonstrations began in the north-eastern portion of the country, an area historically noted as most distanced from President Moammar Gadhafi’s control and influence.  The demonstrations were most prevalent in the city of Benghazi.  Fueled by the use of social media communications which were informing the public of the success of similar protests in Tunisia and Algeria, the Benghazi demonstrations snowballed, gathering social momentum and confidence.  Further social momentum was generated by news of protests- even of the smallest scale- in a plethora of Middle Eastern and African countries. 

Map of Benghazi (click for full-size)

The jumping off point for the Libyan protests came on 11 February, 2011 as a result of the success of the Egyptian “Tahrir Square Protests” which successfully ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.  Taking their cue from the factual Egyptian coup, Libyan civil unrest spread from Benghazi to the country’s capital, Tripoli, which also serves as Gadhafi’s stronghold.  There was also massive general uprising in the eastern coastal region of Cyrenaica. 

Map of Cyrenaica (click for full-size)

To date, the civil unrest has grown into massive violence, and intense fighting continues between the protestors, the loyal portions of the Libyan military (some military units have defected), and a significant array of mercenaries supporting the Libyan soldiers.  The fighting has, so far, brought the death toll to approximately 1,000.  As of 20 February, 2011 Benghazi, Tubruq, Derna, and Al Bayda, a city in Cyrenaica, have been deemed “liberated”, and are no longer under Gadhafi’s control.

Panoramic photo of the city of Al Bayda (click for full-size)

Map of Tubruk (click for full-size)

Map of Derna (click for full-size)

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About Sundar JM Brown

A University of Pennsylvania-trained South Asianist, Seminary-educated Theologian, and Intelligence Community Professional, Sundar J.M. Brown specializes in analysis of Theoterrorism, Counterterrorism and HUMINT Operations. His regional focuses include terror groups/acts in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Philippines, the Middle East and Africa. His primary expertise is Theoterrorism, the intersection of Terrorism and Theology. His present research focuses on apocalyptic themes in terrorist ideologies and on the theological components informing the radicalization and deradicalization of Violent Religious Extremists and Militants. He is the Founder and Director of the IntelliGen Conference on Religion & Violence. *Sundar's Twiter: @SundarJMBrown *Sundar's YouTube Channel: www.YouTube.com/SundarJMBrown *Sundar's Blog: www.SJMB.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in Analysis, International Relations, Terrorism Studies. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Libya Analysis: Part I, Overview

  1. Pingback: Libya Analysis: Part X, Contemporary Libya- (i), Analyzing the Rebels | Think Again

  2. Pingback: Report sees ground support for rebels in Libya | ikners.com

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