Libyan rebels celebrating victory
An al-Qaida leader today told a New York radio host that rebel forces in Libya – whom the United States and United Nations have backed in their uprising against Moammar Ghadafi – have been planning all along on turning the new nation into an Islamic state.
“The establishing of the Islamic state, we cannot avoid this,” stated Abu Saqer, leader of Jihadiya Salafiya, which represents al-Qaida in the Gaza Strip. “This is a fact that will happen. This is our goal, we are seeking [this]. We know the goal of some of the rebel leaders in Iraq [who are] fighting as part of Jihadiya Salafiya, and we believe this will happen at the end of the day in Libya and other parts of the Islamic world.”
Saqer was speaking in an interview today with Aaron Klein on the latter’s radio program on New York’s WABC Radio.
This is not the first time al-Qaida pan-Islamic ideology has been associated with the rebel leaders being aided by the U.S. and NATO forces in Libya.
At the start of the insurgency, rebel leader Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi admitted in an interview with an Italian newspaper that some of his fighters were recruited from foreign countries, while others were on the front lines against coalition troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He insisted his fighters “are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,” but added that the “members of al-Qaida are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader.”
Earlier this month, WND quoted Egyptian security officials stating the uprising in Libya was supported and partially carried out by foreign mercenaries.
The Egyptian security officials said the mercenaries and Islamists from Egypt, Jordan and Persian Gulf states participated in the revolution in Egypt.
The security officials said Egyptian authorities recently arrested a number of mercenaries who returned to Egypt from fighting in Libya.
Two weeks ago, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged support for a “new Libya,” urging triumphant rebels to turn the page on Moammar Gadhafi’s rule and build a secure, democratic state.
She also called on the rebels to guard weapons stockpiles and take a hard line against “extremism,” as the United Nations began releasing $1.5 billion in Libyan assets earmarked for U.N. programs, food and basic services.
“The situation remains fluid, but it is clear that the Gadhafi era is coming to an end, opening the way for a new era in Libya – one of liberty, justice and peace,” Clinton said in a written statement. “There can be no place in the new Libya for revenge attacks and reprisals. … Libya’s future will be peaceful only if the leaders and people of Libya reach out to each other in a spirit of peace.”
She said the coming days and weeks would be “critical,” as the rebels prepared to march on Gadhafi’s heavily-guarded hometown of Sirte and pressed a manhunt for the ousted strongman and his family.