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Al Qaeda flies flag in Libya!

Interesting Article: Libya: Al Qaeda flag flown above Benghazi courthouse by VICE.COM / Tuesday, November 1, 2011

An interesting article in the Daily Telegraph mentioned that the black flag of al Qaeda has been put on top of a courthouse in the Libyan city of Benghazi, further raising concerns that the country could turn into a Muslim extremist entity. With this latest act, is al Qaeda placing itself in front of the masses for a comeback, Libyan style?

"There is no God but Allah" was written in Arabic on the flag raised above the streets of Benghazi, considered the heart of the Libyan revolutionaries who toppled Muammar Gaddafi's regime. If that were not enough, reported that Islamists were seen driving the streets of Benghazi while waving al-Qaeda flags and shouting, "Islamiya, Islamiya! No East, nor West". My previous blog posts spoke about the influence of al Qaeda in Libya (blog post: Could Libya's revolution be hijacked by potential Al Qaeda linked jihadists?  and blog post: More about al Qaeda's influence in Libya!). Seen as the seat of the revolution, the judicial building was used by rebel forces to establish their provisional government and media centre. The flag has been spotted on the courthouse several times, prompting denials from the National Transitional Council that it was responsible. The revelation came just days after it emerged that rebels in Libya have imposed Sharia law in the some parts of country since seizing power. Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, chairman of the National Transitional Council, said Islamic Sharia law would be the "basic source" of legislation in free Libya. Very recently, hundreds of revolutionaries fought each other at a hospital in Tripoli early on Monday, in the biggest armed clash between allies since the fall of Gaddafi. The fighting fuelled growing fears that nobody is in control of thousands of swaggering armed men who are still based in Tripoli and that the country's interim government will struggle to impose law and order. A sudden lurch toward extremism will alarm many in the West who supported the ousting of Gaddafi. It also threatens to embarrass David Cameron who staked his personal reputation on the campaign to free Libya from the tyrant. NATO stuck to its decision to end its seven-month operation despite calls from the National Transitional Council (NTC) for it to stay longer. Sharia law is a form of hardline Islamic rule favored by fundamentalist groups such as the Taliban in Afghanistan. Abdul-Jalil has been at pains to insist ‘that we as Libyans are moderate Muslims’, and has said the proposed constitution is ‘temporary’ and will be put to a referendum. But he has given a speech in which he said any law that ‘violates sharia’ is ‘null and void’. The Benghazi courthouse was the epicenter of the revolution and on its forecourt in February running battles were fought with Gaddafi’s mercenaries in the first few days of the uprising. After Benghazi fell to the rebels, the courthouse became the headquarters of the fledgling leadership. They barricaded the main doors with wooden logs and set up a rudimentary government on the first floor, from where they worked to organize the rest of the eight-month revolution. Throughout the revolution however, fighters have made it clear they fought in the name of God, with "Allah Akbar" or God is great being one of the most heard slogan. It was also widely known that members of the Libyan Fighting Group, banned worldwide by the United Nation 1267 Committee and been accused of having links with al-Qaeda, had joined the rebels to overthrow the Gaddafi regime. What is surprising is how most of the warning signs have been ignored by NATO and the NTC throughout the conflict. With arms widely distributed to fighters from both camps during the struggle, analysts had warned of instability and now two weeks after liberation of country infighting is still being reported. The conflict has also bred fears of regional instability after abundant stocks of the Czech-made explosive Semtex have been found, with analysts now saying the explosives could fuel a new wave of suicide bombs attack in and outside Libya. Man-Portable Air Defense Systems, (MANPADS) have also been found, and despite reassurances from NATO that efforts are being made to secure and destroy such weapons, analysts still fear they could end up in the hands of insurgency groups. Now, the organization responsible for flying two planes into the World Trade Center feels welcome enough to fly a flag above the nation's courthouse. Gaddafi was indeed not fit to rule, but letting those equally hateful against America take his place does not help the United States--or humanity--in the long run.



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