Libya infighting, threats

This item appears on page 16 of the February 2014 issue.

Regarding Libya, the US Department of State advises US citizens against all but essential travel to Tripoli and against all travel outside of the city. Various extremist groups have called for attacks against US citizens and US interests in Libya. Foreign travelers may be targeted on the presumption that they are associated with the US government.

The Libyan government is working to rebuild its military and police forces following the 2011 revolution. Many military-grade weapons remain in the hands of private individuals, including antiaircraft weapons that may be used against civilian aviation. Crime levels remain high in many parts of the country. 

Episodes of civil unrest have occurred throughout the country, and attacks by militants can occur. On Nov. 15, fighting between militias and protesters in Tripoli resulted in about 50 deaths, with hundreds injured. Since then, some militias have withdrawn from Tripoli. 

Checkpoints controlled by militias are common outside of Tripoli. Closures of the international airports occur regularly for maintenance-, labor- or security-related reasons.