The group named Islamic State in Tripoli Province claimed it launched the Tuesday attack to avenge Abu Anas al-Libi’s death. He was indicted in a federal court in the U.S. over his role in the al-Qaeda bombings in 1998 of U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya.
Al-Libi was taken from the street in the Libyan capital by special forces from the U.S. in 2013. He later died while in custody due to liver surgery complications.
The attackers were identified by the group as Abu Suleiman al Sundai and Abu Ibrahim al-Tunis, with war names that suggest they were Sudanese and Tunisian.
The date of the responsibility claim was Tuesday, but it was posted on jihadi forum on Wednesday.
The message warned that it was not the last one for Tripoli.
The affiliate claimed responsibility previously for an attack recently on the Algerian Embassy, which wounded three embassy guards. It has posted photos previously of its men distributing their pamphlets. The Wednesday posting, matched messages previously released by the same group.
Tuesday’s attack targeted the Corinthia Hotel on the sea and killed five guards. Two of the attackers were killed after a standoff of many hours that included a car being blown up.
A senior State Department official in the U.S. confirmed that a citizen for the U.S. was amongst those killed. David Berry was identified as the American killed. Berry was security contractor for a company based in the U.S.
The message posted online said those killed had been French, American, Filipino and South Korean. Earlier another source said amongst the dead was a citizen from France, an American and three from the former Soviet Union.
Violence between rival governments and militias has plagued Libya since its civil war of 2011 that saw longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi killed. Tripoli is now controlled by a group of militias who are Islamist.