France took the lead in pushing for military intervention to overthrow Gaddafi. Now it’s fighting Islamists, many of them from Libya, armed with weapons that France airdropped to them, that Qatar smuggled to them or weapons from Gaddafi’s stockpiles, and the Libyan government is opposing any action against the Jihadists who have overrun much of Mali.
Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zaidan said Saturday that Libya rejects military attacks on Mali, calling for solving the Malian crisis through dialogue, the state TV reported.
“We reject the attacks on Mali, and Libya’s position was clear, so we asked to give an opportunity for dialogue,” Zaidan said.
Libya will not be a base to launch attacks on Mali, Zaidan said, denying rumors of using Lawiig, a Libyan far south town, as a military base for the French forces’ operation.
Solving the crisis through dialogue wasn’t what the Libyan rebels were calling for with Gaddafi. Or with Assad. But some crises are solved with dialogue. Others with bombs. Islamist crises can’t be solved with bombs. But crises involving dictators that Islamists want to overthrow can always be solved with bombs.
Libya however has already served as a base for the attack on Algeria. Islamists are deeply embedded in the new Libyan government and in its military and security services. That state of affairs contributed to the Benghazi attack and likely to the Algerian attack as well.
Zeidan then went on to say that there were “no terrorist groups in Southern Libya”.
The terrorists who attacked the In Amenas gas complex in eastern Algeria appear to have been of several nationalities, and may have trained in jihadist camps across the border in southern Libya.
The fall of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi might see the al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic terrorist groups filling up the void, US analysts have said.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) that was branded by the US as a terrorist organisation in May 2010 has been operating from its base in Algeria, and has now extended its reach to the borders of Mauritania, Niger, Mali, Chad and Libya, Fox News reports.
Gaddafi had earlier not only provided intelligence on the terrorists’ operations to the US, but has also publicly spoken out against them.
Branding the group members as ‘bad Muslims’, Gaddafi said: “The security forces found a mosque in al-Zawiya. In a mosque! Weapons, alcohol, and their corpses – all mixed up together.”
Now that the Libyan dictator has gone into hiding, many analysts have raised concerns whether southern Libya will become a magnet for jihadist groups.
Cully Stimson, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense who is now a fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said that the al-Qaeda affiliate might turn out to be an adaptive enemy.
Well that Obama policy worked out great. Maybe next he can stop relying on half-measures and just give the terrorists all our nuclear codes.