Back in 2010 there was hope that democratic change could and would sweep across northern Africa and the Middle East following a series of popular uprisings and protests against the old elite of leadership like Gaddafi who had clung onto power for decades.
Spreading from Tunisia to Libya and Bahrain, Egypt to Syria among other countries, citizens took to the streets and city squares to demand change.
And while there were some immediate "successes" for government opponents – such as the overthrowing of Libya's Gaddafi, Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and Tunisia's Ben Ali government – hindsight has shown that the uprisings were the easy part in the long process of building a stable, democratic government.
In fact, the removal of the old vestiges of power has left power vacuums and in many countries that experienced the brief period of hope dubbed the "Arab Spring," civil war has followed, leading to more instability, as seen in Libya.
"The combination of political fragmentation and rivalries between competing militias has created a de facto security and political vacuum in Libya, which has ultimately allowed the Islamic State to emerge and proliferate in the country," Ludovico Carlino, senior analyst of Middle East and North Africa at IHS Country Risk told CNBC on Tuesday.
"The group is now trying to capitalize on the negotiations for the national unity government, accelerating its operations against the energy sector so as to undermine the potential implementation of the UN-backed agreement, whose collapse would guarantee the persistence of that vacuum," he added.
The worst scenario, according to Carlino, was a political impasse that would allow ISIS to further cement and expand its position in Libya and force the West to take same form of action against the group bypassing the Libyan authorities.
"The Islamic State has probably not yet reached its peak in Libya in terms of capabilities and strength, but you have all the ingredients in Libya for this scenario to be materialized in the next six months, especially if the group will continue to operate unchecked".
- By CNBC's Holly Ellyatt, follow her on Twitter @HollyEllyatt. Follow CNBC International on Twitter and Facebook.