At Asia Times Online Syed Salaam Shahzad reports on Libya.

The root of the unrest is intrinsically liberal and secular — as it was in Egypt and Tunisia — leaving very little ground on which Islamic political forces can operate. [But while during] these turbulent times in the Arab world, al-Qaeda has been only a spectator . . . it is poised to pounce on any opportunity that might arise to allow it to become a part of the action in Libya. [In fact al-Qaeda’s] most powerful Libyan cluster, al-Jamaa al-Muqatilah (Libyan Islamic Fighting Group), is apprehensive of being marginalized, according to members of the Libyan militant camp in Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal area.


. . . this places al-Qaeda in the same position as Western countries, some of which are positioning to actively intervene in Libya, even if it is at the least by enforcing a no-fly zone.


[Al-Jamaa al-Muqatilah] believe that al-Qaeda needs to kick in to give an ideological mooring to the armed opposition and to prevent the situation from falling into the hands of pro-Western agitators.

It’s looking to one of al Qaeda’s most notorious members to help pull it off.

Asia Times Online contacts in the militant camps say that current al-Qaeda ideologue and military strategist Abu Yahya al-Libi is now trying to mobilize of al-Qaeda’s cadre in Libya to quickly jump onto the unrest bandwagon. . . . Crucially, though . . . it will not incorporate the terror operations that have characterized al-Qaeda’s operations over the past years, notably in Iraq. . . . Libi, who . . . escaped from the US detention facility at Bagram in 2005 and was recently elevated as one of al-Qaeda’s main leaders . . . played a significant role in al-Qaeda’s mobilization in Yemen and Somalia.

Well, if anyone can do it he can. Meanwhile, who does the West have to compare with al-Libi’s star power? Hillary Clinton?

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