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View Diary: Coordinated Attack on Ambassador and US Troops Points to Safe Haven in Libya for al-Qaeda (71 comments)

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  •  CNN: The Ambassador's '08 cable said that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, Mindful Nature

    You write:

    Also, suggesting that salafists set up camps in 2008 seems pretty far fetched.
    CNN (lined in OP) wrote:
    Derna has for years been a recruiting ground for al Qaeda. In his 2008 cable, Stephens described the area as "a wellspring of Libyan foreign fighters" for al Qaeda in Iraq, and outlined how high youth unemployment, discrimination by the Gadhafi regime and the influence of veteran Libyan jihadists from Afghanistan all played a role in radicalizing a new generation.

    In recent months, hardline Salafists have increasingly asserted themselves in eastern Libya. In June hundreds of fighters wielding AK-47s and black Islamist banners converged on Benghazi to call for the imposition of sharia law. This spring al-Zawahiri's associate Azuz was confident enough to address a large gathering in the town square of Derna, an online video of which has been seen by CNN.

    Collectively, some of the Salafist and jihadist elements in eastern Libya began to become known as Ansar al Sharia, or "Partisans of Sharia." According to reports, eyewitnesses have claimed Ansar al Sharia was responsible for organizing the demonstration outside the U.S. Consulate. But Benotman told CNN Ansar al Sharia is not really a grouping at all but rather a term applied to an amorphous coalition of Islamist and Salafist groups in eastern Libya with no leadership structure.

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    •  This is quite useful (0+ / 0-)


      Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

      by Mindful Nature on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 08:28:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Benghazi was also the source of many AQ in Iraq (0+ / 0-)

        It should not be a big surprise to anyone that Libya, and Benghazi and the neigbhoring city of Derna, in particular, has for years been an epicenter of Al Qaeda.

        Rolling Stone magazine, observed in its March 21 issue that “America is now at war to protect a Libyan province that’s been an epicenter of anti-American jihad.”

        The province is Cyrenaica, and its capital is Benghazi. Rolling Stone noted that in 2008, “a West Point analysis of a cache of al Qaeda records discovered that nearly 20 percent of foreign fighters in Iraq were Libyans, and that on a per-capita basis Libya nearly doubled Saudi Arabia as the top source of foreign fighters.”  The main source of those fighters – who mostly became jihad martyrdom suicide bombers targeting Shi'ia population and holy sites in Iraq, was Cyrenaica.

        The war on Syria is, for them, an extension of the Jihad against Shi'ia and American occupiers in Iraq.

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