Fears grow that Libya helps incubate instability
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
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Police: NYC cop killer invited people to watch shooting
- New York farmers lament lost opportunity for natural gas riches with fracking ban
- Coal mines near record low in worker deaths
- Georgia prosecutor Yates tapped for No. 2 post in Justice Department
- Government survey: More teens trying out e-cigarettes than real thing
- New York City subways slowly upgrading from 1930s-era technology
- Florida officer slain; 1 charged
- Breastfeeding can save millions in health costs, study says
- Gray wolf decision reversed
- West Virginia man dies after being shot with arrow in Wellsburg
- Nativity scene placed by Satanic display at Michigan Capitol