al-Qaeda's Presence in the New Libya

Combating Terrorism Center at West Point:

Since the uprising against Qadhafi began in February 2011, Libya has become a source of attention for jihadists and grave concern among regional and Western leaders. There are clear signs of jihadist efforts to infiltrate Libya, and even signs of some possible success for al-Qa`ida in establishing a limited presence in Libya. Security officials must be vigilant for signs of support for al-Qa`ida among Libyan militias and further expansion of the groupís reach, especially evidence of training and indoctrination of Libyans by al-Qa`ida-linked figures.

It appears that AQIM in particular has chosen to profit from the Libyan unrest by seizing weapons, but have remained ensconced in safe havens in northern Mali and Algeria. The same cannot be definitively said for other al-Qa`ida-linked figures, who are accustomed to operating clandestinely when setting up funding and operational networks and may be doing the same in Libya. Given al-Qa`idaís expressed interest in the country and the key role Libyan militants have historically played in the organization, this concern cannot be easily dismissed.

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Posted by: Howie at 08:36 AM

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