ISIS Affiliate's Tripoli Attack Killed Ex-Marine

Group says hotel hit was retaliation for al-Qaeda leader's death
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2015 8:15 AM CST
In this image made from video posted by a Libyan blogger, the Cortinthia Hotel is seen under attack in Tripoli, Libya, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015.   (AP Photo/ @AliTweel via AP video)
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(Newser) – More details are emerging in yesterday's deadly attack on a luxury hotel in Tripoli. Four or five gunmen are believed to have entered the Corinthia in the early morning, shouting "God is great" as they fired at guards and civilians. Ten people were killed, including American David Berry, an ex-Marine and contractor with security company Crucible, and four Europeans, the New York Times reports. The AP adds the "Islamic State in Tripoli Province," a Libyan affiliate of ISIS, has claimed responsibility for the assault, seen as retaliation for the death of alleged al-Qaeda leader Abu Anas al-Libi in US custody. Al-Libi, seized by US forces in Tripoli in 2003, died earlier this month of complications from liver surgery.

Five guards were also killed in the chaos, which the Times calls the "deadliest attack on Western interests in Libya since the assault on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi." A hotel employee tells the AP that British, Italian, and Turkish guests fled out a back entrance to a parking lot, where a car bomb exploded 100 yards away. No hostages were taken. Two of the assailants were killed after an hours-long standoff with police loyal to the Tripoli government; one is believed to have killed himself with a grenade or suicide vest. "The operation is not the last one on the lands of Tripoli," a post on jihadi forums today reads. "Let the enemies of God, the crusaders, and their allies await what would harm them."

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