Tony Westcott, a journalist with the Daily Mail, obtained permission to view a massive bomb factory in Libya that was used by the ISIS terrorist group. According to the Daily Mail, he began his exploration at the Al-Khaleej Power Station, which now lies abandoned at the border of the desert.
In June, troops overtook the factory during a military push to destroy or disrupt Daesh strongholds. Twenty-five jihadi corpses were found along with signs that more than 150 others lived there prior to the raid.
The factory also showed signs of use as an explosives factory. Empty gas canisters, metal bolts of the type often found in suicide vests, ammunition boxes, and other weapon equipment was in evidence. In a side room, piles of cut hair and beards showed signs that the men who hid there removed them to better hide with normal citizens of the region.
Commander Ahmed Negro of Libya stated their government’s belief that the jihadists and bomb makers ran to Sirte.
The fleeing bomb-makers left other things behind. Booby traps and land mines lay scattered across the property. An unfortunate bomb disposal technician discovered this. Also according to Commander Negro, the technician triggered a nearby mine that had been connected to the one he was working on. His blood now stains the surrounding wall, which is covered with Daesh-supporting graffiti.
Some of the painted slogans include, “ISIS follows the path of the Prophet” and “We will never give up. We will apply Sharia Law.”
Within the walls, remnants of suicide cars, what Libyan Daesh members call “Dogma,” were found as well as a water tanker truck. A recent attack on a military checkpoint features a truck much like the one found here. Filled with explosives, it killed 60 people and wounded more than 500 more.
Libyan troops inspected the vehicle, according to Westcott. Empty gas canisters and bullet-proof metal sheeting lay strewn about. These would be combined inside the truck’s tank to create an explosion with devastating quantities of metal shrapnel.
The bullet-proof sheets replaced standard car and truck bumpers to reinforce the vehicles so they could not be stopped before they reached their detonation spots. Car and truck parts in varying states of repair or retrofitting were found in the area.
Mehdi, a man who had lived in Sirte during the horrific IS occupation for 12 months, also spoke with Westcott. Many of the Daesh members in the area came from sub-Saharan countries in Africa and primarily spoke English.
Thanks to the military raid on the factory compound, safety was returned to the immediate area. Hassan Forjani, the plant’s chief engineer, states that power is now flowing to the surrounding region. It has not had electricity for many months.