Al-Qaeda is intensifying efforts to establish a new base for its terrorist operations in Libya following the recent attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, according to the latest Western intelligence reports. The leaders of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the North African offshoot of the mainstream organization, are making a concerted effort to link up with Ansar al-Sharia. The CIA believes Ansar al-Sharia was behind the September 11 attack on the US consulate in which four people died, including US Ambassador Christopher Stevens. AQIM leaders are also attempting to establish ties with other Libyan Islamist groups in the hope of establishing an al-Qaeda fiefdom there similar to the one it has created in nearby Mali.
(Source: Catherine Herridge, Fox News)
AQIM leaders are also attempting to establish ties with other Libyan Islamist groups in the hope of establishing an al-Qaeda fiefdom there similar to the one it has created in nearby Mali.
Intelligence officials say that leaders of the AQIM movement have been travelling regularly to the desert town of Ghat in south-western Libya, close to the border with Niger.
Their aim is to establish a foothold in Libya from which to launch attacks against Western targets, as well as gaining access to the large stockpiles of weapons – including Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles – that were looted by Libyan rebels during the fall of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s regime at the end of last year.