Skip to main content

The Derna Mujahideen Shura Council: A Revolutionary Islamist Coalition in Libya


perspectives-on-terrorism-10-5Journal abstract

The Derna Mujahideen Shura Council (DMSC) – later renamed the Derna Protection Force – was a coalition of Libyan revolutionary Islamist groups in the city of Derna in eastern Libya. Founded in a city with a long history of hardline Salafism and ties to the global jihadist movement, the DMSC represented an amalgamation of local conservative Islamism and revolutionary fervor after the 2011 Libyan Revolution. This article examines the group’s significant links to both other Libyan Islamists and to al-Qaeda, but also its ideology and activities to provide local security and advocacy of conservative governance in Derna and across Libya. This article further details how the DMSC warred with the more extremist Islamic State in Derna and with the anti-Islamist Libyan National Army, defeating the former in 2016 but ultimately being defeated by the latter in mid-2018. The DMSC exemplifies the complex local intersection between revolution, Islamist ideology, and jihadism in contemporary Libya.

You might also like: