The Small Arms Survey has published a briefing paper about the militias controlling Libya’s capital in the aftermath of the fall of Gadaffi. In the past 2 years, control has consolidated into the hands of a cartel: 4 militias whose military dominance, influence in government, and power over the resources of the state is unprecedented. This briefing paper from the Security Assessment in North Africa project traces the genesis of these militias and explores how they exercise their power now, and what dangers the Libyan capital — and the country — face in the future. In particular, the paper notes that protection rackets and large-scale fraud, are both contributing to a deepening economic crisis, and have replaced state salaries as their principal source of income. Over the past 2 years, the large militia have transformed into criminal networks straddling politics, big business, and the administration. They have infiltrated the bureaucracy and are increasingly able to coordinate their actions across different state institutions. The government is powerless in the face of militia influence. The paper emphasises the control over the banking and cash sectors in Libya, as well as criminal activities generating income for the militia, including “massive fraud” involving letters of credit.