Al-Qaeda has Libya missiles, EU says

2011-09-05 21:30

Brussels - Al-Qaeda's north African branch has acquired a stockpile of weapons in Libya, including surface-to-air missiles that are threatening air travel, the EU's counter-terrorism coordinator said on Monday.

Due to the turmoil in Libya, members of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb have "gained access to weapons, either small arms or machine-guns, or certain surface-to-air missiles which are extremely dangerous because they pose a risk to flights over the territory," said Gilles de Kerchove.

At a news conference marking the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the United States, De Kerchove said that while the threat of strikes by mainstream Al-Qaeda followers had decreased, was taking root both on the Arab peninsula and in Africa, posing a mounting threat.

"It is a group that is Africanising and seeking to extend its area of influence," he said.

Like other al-Qaeda affiliates in Pakistan and elsewhere, AQIM had gained support among locals by using ransom money and possibly drug-related income to fund social services unavailable from cash-strapped African governments.

It had extended its area of action from northern Niger, Mali and Mauritania to northern Nigeria and as far south as Senegal, he said.

To put a brake on any further extension of its influence, European Union nations needed to help African countries such as Chad and Niger to reintegrate the hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who have fled home from Libya in the past months.

Mali alone faced the return of 210 000 people, he said.

Plans were underway also to aid information-gathering and counter-terror centres in Algeria and Mauritania, and to back Malian efforts to redeploy seven to 10 military bases in its remote barren north as well as provide basic services for the population there.

  • letsee - 2011-09-05 21:53

    Nothing to be surprised about, it is expected that al-Qaeda will use every opportunity to its benefit in a way or another and now there is nothing that can be done even if NATO re-directs its mission.

      Yaseen - 2011-09-05 22:54

      Hahahaha i knew sumbody believes everything they read

      slg - 2011-09-06 02:35

      And someone discards everything they read to the point of being disconnected from reality?

  • thetruth - 2011-09-05 22:53

    fear tactics once again...EU,US and NATO use this to their advantage to get the western gullible masses to believe their lies and endorse their military ventures throughout the middle east and sub continent...AL QAEDA and BIN LADEN are created monsters...they are funded by these western warmongers and give these warmongers licence to wage wars and usurp natural resources...HOW SAD-THEIR GULLIBLE POPULATIONS ARE HOODWINKED AND BELIEVE THEIR LIES.

      john - 2011-09-06 00:44

      Don't be silly. If the US wanted oil, they'd have attacked Syria, Nigeria, Sudan and Angola. The oil business simply doesn't work the way the conspiracy theory sites tell you it does. The oil contracts don't go to the country that helped the govt into power. In fact, it can be the complete opposite. The government of Angola got into power with the help of the Communist bloc (Russia, the then East Germany, North Korea, Cuba, etc). The US-backed faction UNITA lost the civil war. Yet US firms dominate the Angolan oil industry, Russia has almost no stake in it. The US helped to install the Iraqi government yet got almost no oil contracts from them. China got far more. Nobody steals oil. Fortunately, countries have governments that are a bit smarter than the average conspiracy theory website reader, so they manage their natural resources and oil contracts with due care. Libya and Iraq both stand to gain billions of $ per annum extra into the fiscus, due to improved infrastructure and production capacity from foreign investment. The countries who gain the least from their oil resources are not those who keep IOCs out, but those who let them in. Iran refuses to let anybody but a select few (mostly Russians) into their industry and they're falling further and further behind. With no investment, their aging infrastructure means they can't pump efficiently or anywhere close to their capacity, and Iran has recently become a net importer of fuel.

      john - 2011-09-06 00:46

      least = most in the last paragraph above, ie those countries who invite in IOCs gain far more than countries who try to keep them out.

      slg - 2011-09-06 02:38

      Al-Quaeda and Bin Laden are/were funded by the West. This is the same as saying the US flew planes into its own buildings on 9/11. It's as delusional as one can be. There is no further point of delusion.

      slg - 2011-09-06 02:40

      Why is the Arab League after Libya's oil? It initiated the intervention in Libya. Can you please answer this.

      dale mckinla - 2011-09-06 06:38

      open you eyes you blind twat....

      MobBim - 2011-09-06 10:35

      My common sense tells me noone is prepared to fight losing battle a war is business unfortunetely the civilians and the losing side almost lose everything... we all know western agent can come here articulates their myth in a way someone can believe then but the fact of the matter the looting happened in Libya it meaned to mitigate western debts because currency does not add value to any country like asserts...

      john - 2011-09-06 11:57

      MobBim, the world has moved on a bit since Shaka's day. It's no longer a case of, when one tribe beats another in battle, they take all the other tribe's land and cattle and other assets. If that was the case, then VW, BMW, Fiat, Sony, Panasonic, Mitsubishi etc would all be American companies, and Germany, Italy and Japan would be US states. Plus Kuwait's and Iraq's oil would all belong to America. The German, Italian and Japanese civilians didn't "lose almost everything" by being defeated in WW2. They would have if they'd been defeated in Napoleon's or Shaka's day. But the world works differently now. Germany, Italy and Japan have three of the world's ten richest economies today. There were some on the Allied side who wanted Germany returned to the Stone Age and never given a chance to rise as an industrial power again. But thankfully, sanity prevailed and they were allowed, helped even, to rebuild their industry and economy again. The world has digested those lessons and applies them today. Libya will be helped to grow their economy, as Iraq was. Whether their various factions will be able to work together and maximise that, or whether they'll lapse into faction fighting as has happened in Iraq, remains to be seen. But that is their choice, not the UN's nor the West's.

  • braamc - 2011-09-06 04:31

    Let the African Union sort it out, hahahaha

  • Wonderboy - 2011-09-06 08:09

    I wonder if this is not more to make people believe that the west really needs to give MORE money to Africa to nullify the effect of support from Al-qaeda. This normally does not work. During Apartheid millions were pumped into the homelands trying to build infrastructure there so as to keep the people from moving to the so called white areas. This proved to be useless as they outbred the aid and swamped the rest of the country anyway. Looking at the areas where the previous homelands were, one can see that not much of all that money was spent on infrastructure. So for Europe, trying the apartheid model? Forget it they will not stay in their countries, they will eventually also swamp europe.

      Mr D - 2011-10-02 22:57

      So true, nobody but nobody breeds like the blacks.....?

  • pages:
  • 1