AL-QAEDA’S offshoot in North Africa has snatched surface-to-air missiles from an arsenal in Libya during the civil strife there, Chad’s President says.
Idriss Deby Itno did not say how many surface-to-air missiles were stolen, but told the African weekly Jeune Afrique that he was “100 per cent sure” of his assertion.
“The Islamists of al-Qaeda took advantage of the pillaging of arsenals in the rebel zone to acquire arms, including surface-to-air missiles, which were then smuggled into their sanctuaries in Tenere,” a desert region of the Sahara that stretches from northeast Niger to western Chad, Deby said in the interview.
“This is very serious. AQIM is becoming a genuine army, the best equipped in the region,” he said.
His claim was echoed by officials in other countries in the region who said that they were worried that al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) might have acquired “heavy weapons”, thanks to the insurrection.
Oh, it gets better:
Elsewhere in the interview, Chad’s president backed the assertion by his neighbour and erstwhile enemy Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi that the protests in Libya have been driven in part by al-Qaeda.
“There is a partial truth in what he says,” Deby said.
“Up to what point? I don’t know. But I am certain that AQIM took an active part in the uprising.”
Hmmmm, an active part in the uprising you say? Well then, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that a top commander of those Democracy lovin’ rebels once fought against the United States in Afghanistan:
In his more recent remarks to Il Sole 24 Ore, al-Hasadi admits not only to fighting against U.S. troops in Afghanistan, but also to recruiting Libyans to fight against American forces in Iraq. As noted in my earlier PJM report here, captured al-Qaeda personnel records show that al-Hasadi’s hometown of Darnah sent more foreign fighters to fight with al-Qaeda in Iraq than any other foreign city or town and “far and away the largest per capita number of fighters.” Al-Hasadi told Il Sole 24 Ore that he personally recruited “around 25” Libyans to fight in Iraq. “Some have come back and today are on the front at Ajdabiya,” al-Hasadi explained, “They are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists.” “The members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader,” al-Hasadi added.
The revelations about al-Hasadi’s involvement in the anti-American jihad are particularly troubling in light of clear evidence that Western forces are coordinating their attacks on Libyan government targets with rebel forces.
Obama has no idea, none whatsoever, the can of worms he has opened with his decision (when he finally did make the decision) to back these bad guys in their fight against another bad guy.