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)

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.”

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Edible pot ban proposed, yanked in Colorado
  2. Earth heads for record 2014
  3. High court will take case on gun ownership
  4. Crowd at Met protests ‘Death of Klinghoffer,’ calling opera anti-Semitic
  5. GOP governors don’t see ‘Obamacare’ going away
  6. Congress examines NSA official’s part-time job
  7. Over 3 years, extended federal leave adds up to $775M
  8. EPA hopes grants will reduce Lake Erie algae
  9. Crying suspect trapped in Calif. chimney, saved but arrested
  10. Suspect in Va. disappearance charged in rape
  11. Officials: 500M financial records hacked
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.