Questions raised about US intelligence against ISIL in Libya
American military planning for a possible intervention against Isil in Libya is based on faulty intelligence about the group’s strength, according to Western officials and country experts.Whatever the estimate is, ISIL needs to be destroyed and bringing more resources to the fight is not as big a problem as it would to underestimate the enemies strength.
US intelligence agencies assess that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) has doubled in size in Libya, with between 5,000 and 6,500 fighters in the country.
Privately, however, some US officials say they believe these estimates to be overblown. Independent experts have come to the same conclusion.
"The estimates of the number of jihadists is grossly exaggerated,” said Karim Mezran, a Libya expert with the Atlantic Council in Washington.
While Mr Mezran and other analysts decline to offer an alternative number for Isil’s strength, they believe the real figure to be only 20 to 40 per cent of the US estimate.