Home > Radical Islam, Wars and Rumors of War > Islamists Emerge in Force in New Libya

Islamists Emerge in Force in New Libya


By Leila Fadel – “TRIPOLI, Libya — For decades, bearded men in Libya were afraid to walk in the streets or go to the mosque, worried that to be seen as an Islamist would land them in prison, or worse.

As Libya’s leader, Moammar Gaddafi regarded Islamists as the greatest threat to his authority, and he ordered thousands of them detained, tortured and, in some cases, killed. The lucky ones fled the country in droves. But with Gaddafi now in hiding, Islamists are vying to have a say in a new Libya, one they say should be based on Islamic law.

Although it went largely unnoticed during the tumultuous civil war the regime lost last month, Islamists were at the heart of the fight, many as rebel commanders. Now some are clashing with secularists within the rebels’ Transitional National Council, prompting worries among some liberals that the Islamists — who still command the bulk of fighters and weapons — could use their strength to assert an even more dominant role.

‘We don’t want any vacuums or for those Islamists to steal the revolution,’ said a senior rebel leader, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the internal rifts.

Among the Islamists in the rebel ranks, a small fraction were militants who had previously waged war abroad. Some had fought Islamic wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Chechnya and Kosovo under a militant banner; some ended up in the arms of more extreme groups such as al-Qaeda. The city of Derna, a key bastion of resistance against Gaddafi in eastern Libya, was home to dozens of Libyan fighters who fought in Iraq after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.” Read more.

US Intelligence Report Says Libyan Jihadists Planning to Subvert Post-Gadhafi Gov’t and Create an Islamist State – “Jihadists among the Libyan rebels revealed plans last week on the Internet to subvert the post-Moammar Gadhafi government and create an Islamist state, according to U.S. intelligence agencies. U.S. officials said spy agencies are stepping up surveillance of Islamist-oriented elements among Libyan rebels. A government report circulated Tuesday said extremists were observed ‘strategizing’ on Internet forums about how to set up an Islamist state in Libya after the regime of Col. Gadhafi is defeated.” Read more.

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of MidnightWatcher's Blogspot. Although differences of opinion are welcomed, please refrain from personal attacks and inappropriate language. This blog reserves the right to edit or delete any comments that fail to do so.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: