TribLIVE

| USWorld

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Fears grow that Libya helps incubate instability

AP
FILE -- In this Friday, Sept. 14, 2012 file photo, a Libyan follower of Ansar al-Shariah Brigades chants as he carries the Brigades flag, with Arabic writing that reads, 'There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger, Ansar al-Shariah,' during a protest in front of the Tibesti Hotel, in Benghazi, Libya. Libya's upheaval the past two years helped lead to the ongoing conflict in Mali, and now Mali's war threatens to wash back and further hike Libya's instability. There is a growing fear that post-Moammar Gadhafi Libya is becoming an incubator of turmoil, with an overflow of weapons and Islamic jihadi militants operating freely, ready for battlefields at home or abroad. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon, File)

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, 8:02 p.m.
 

Libya's upheaval in the past two years helped lead to the ongoing conflict in Mali, and now Mali's war threatens to wash back and further increase Libya's instability. Fears are growing that post-Moammar Gadhafi Libya is becoming an incubator of turmoil, with an overflow of weapons and jihadists operating freely, ready for battlefields at home or abroad.

The terrorist group that carried out the Algeria hostage-taking had help from Libyan extremists in the form of smuggled weapons and “organizational ties,” said the Algerian group's leader, Moktar Belmoktar. He urged Libyan militias not to submit to calls by the Tripoli government to hand over their weapons, saying their arms are “the source of their dignity and their guarantee of security.”

With pressure building on Mali's Islamists, Libya provides a possible alternative haven for jihadis, said Scott Stewart of the global intelligence group Stratfor.

“It is a very good place to operate if you are an extremist,” he said. “There are fault lines and divisions ... The central government has very little authority outside Tripoli. This is very conducive environment for Jihad to thrive.”

They already have a free rein in Benghazi.

“Libya became a heaven for them,” Col. Salah Bouhalqa, a leading military commander in Benghazi, said of al-Qaida. “The Westerners are fearful that what happened in Algeria will take place in Libya. And here, just like Mali and Egypt and Iraq, these groups have extensions.”

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Senate Dems get 34th vote to hand Obama victory on Iran deal
  2. Mine regulators move to expand safety feature
  3. Clinton: Women ‘expect’ extremism from terrorists, not GOP candidates
  4. Postal Service falls short of slower mail delivery standards
  5. CIA joins special ops in secret terrorist hunt in Syria
  6. More Hillary emails have parts blocked, ruled classified
  7. Common Core test results released
  8. Will Trump run as independent? He says decision will be made soon
  9. Outrage greets wildlife officials’ plan to kill bear cub that approached hiker in Connecticut
  10. Ancient giant sea scorpion turns up
  11. Authorities in Illinois hunt for 3 in officer’s slaying