Jihadists plot to take over Libya

U.S. steps up surveillance of suspects among rebels

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A jihadist writing as Asuli Mutatari, stated on the Shumukh al-Islam Network forum that “the real war will be fought after the fall of the tyrant [Col. Gadhafi] and after the establishment of a transitional democratic system.”

“After the awakening, we will fight those outside the [Islamic] law,” he stated.

Another forum posting urged Islamists to “quickly take control of cities with economic resources and strategic locations and establish Islamic courts there.”

A jihadist identified as Abu Abra’ al-Muqadas said the National Transitional Council must be neutralized because it will never allow anyone calling for an Islamic state to be part of the new government.

“They know that merely suggesting the application of Islamic law will cause Western countries to stop their support,” he said.

A posting by a forum member named Gullam Ashab al-Akhud said the National Transitional Council should be liquidated and replaced by a transitional council of Islamic Salafi jihadi scholars in Libya.

A second Internet forum, Ana al-Muslim, quoted Ayoub al-Jaza’iry as saying that thousands of Islamists in Libya have been trained by al Qaeda and are “working silently in sleeper cells.” He warned jihadists to keep a low profile to avoid alerting the United States to its power.

Some of the jihadists criticized NATO military support to the rebels and said post-Gadhafi Libya should not allow outside assistance. Some also urged the assassinations of secular National Transitional Council leaders.

Mohamed al-Jaza’iry stated on the Ana al Muslim Network that the next phase of the revolution should be the expulsion of foreign bases and reduction of foreign influence.

“The Libyan people must … turn their guns on the Crusader occupiers, along with collaborators and traitors,” he added.

The comments reflect an increase in Islamist rhetoric since the fall of Tripoli, but the number of hard-line Islamist and the extent of their influence or control is not known, the report said.

A Dec. 9, 2009, cable made public by the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks revealed that the Gadhafi regime released more than 200 jihadists, including half of the imprisoned LIFG members, after they publicly renounced violence and claimed to have adopted a new code for jihad. The move was an initiative by Col. Gadhafi’s son Seif al-Islam and the Gadhafi International Charity and Development Foundation.

Skeptics dismissed the effort as a temporary shift in tactics for the jihadists in exchange for winning their release from detention.

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About the Author
Bill Gertz

Bill Gertz

Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.

He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.

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