ISLAMIC State has amassed 6,000 jihadis within 200 miles of Europe – and is preparing to strike.
The terror group – also known as Daesh – has doubled its legions in Libya, north Africa, in just six months, the Pentagon has warned.
It has seized control of a pocket of territory around the city of Sirte and is assembling a fearsome fighting force.
Libya is just 200 miles from Europe and security experts now believe it poses more of a threat to the West than Syria or Iraq.
Analysts claim ISIS is moving its HQ to Sirte – which was Libyan dictator Muammar “Maddog” Gaddafi’s hometown.
Supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is even rumoured to have fled Syria for the new haven.
Olivier Guitta, head of a geopolitical risk and security consultancy firm GlobalStrat, said: "There are from three to five thousand Daesh militants active in Libya – not to mention at least four major terrorist groups and countless militant factions.
“There are also indications that the leaders of Daesh are moving there from Syria.
“But Libya is located only 300 kilometres from Italy and could be used as a strategic staging area for launching attacks against Europe and North Africa.”
The Daily Star Online revealed ISIS was creating its own air force to launch kamikaze attacks on Europe from Libya in December.
The UK has pledged 1,000 troops to help train the Libyan armed forces to fend off Daesh.