Al Qaeda involved in conflict: Gaddafi’s spokesman

Libyan government hints at role of a well known al Qaeda leader in conflict.

Last Updated: Apr 18, 2011, 11:41 AM IST

Tripoli: Al Qaeda is involved in the uprising in Libya, a government spokesman said on Sunday, hinting at a role of a “very well known leader” of the organisation in the conflict.

“The involvement of al Qaeda in the conflict in Libya is proven every day,” said Musa Ibrahim during a news conference.

“We believe it`s very dangerous if these people establish themselves in this country, have control of its future, its immense wealth a footstep from Europe.”

Ibrahim said his government had information that “the famous Abdelhakim Al-Hasadi, the very famous al Qaeda leader, who has a jihadist history and fought in many countries including Iraq and Afghanistan”, had left the eastern city of Benghazi for besieged Misrata.

Hasadi, who he said was “very well-known to intelligence services around the world”, was travelling in an old Egyptian ship, the Al-Shahid Abdelwahab, accompanied by 25 “highly trained fighters”.

“They repaired the ship and they filled it with weapons and advanced communication gadgets,” he added. “And unfortunately the (Western) coalition knows about this, as they are observing our waters, and unfortunately they are prepared to allow known Qaeda members to pass from Benghazi to Misrata,” said Ibrahim.

Another Islamist, Ismail Sallabi, a member of the Fighting Islamic Group in Libya (GICL) and al Qaeda, was training 200 `fundamentalists` in the `April 7` military camp in Benghazi with the support of about 20 experts sent from Qatar, said Ibrahim.

Bureau Report