A senior member of al Qaida urged Libyan rebels to continue their fight against Muammar Gaddafi and warned of the consequences of defeat, in a videotaped message posted on Jihadi websites, the Qatar-based Gulf News reported on Sunday.
The message from Libya native, Abu Yahya al-Libi, marked the first time a top ranked al Qaida commander had commented on the uprising in Libya. Gaddafi has repeatedly blamed al Qaida for inciting the unrest against him.
“The Libyan people have suffered at the hands of Gaddafi for more than 40 years … He used the Libyans as a testing ground for his violent, rambling and disgusting thoughts,” Abu Yahya stated.
He warned that “Retreating will mean decades of harsher oppression and greater injustices than what you have endured.”
Abu Yahya also accused the West, and the US in particular, of having supported oppresive Arab regimes at the expense of the people.
Western diplomatic sources have confirmed to Sky News that the US is considering the legality of arming the Libyan rebels.
Mark Kornblau, spokesman for US Ambassador Dr Susan Rice, confirmed it was a possibility.
Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader, has said jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.
In an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, Mr al-Hasidi admitted that he had recruited “around 25” men from the Derna area in eastern Libya to fight against coalition troops in Iraq. Some of them, he said, are “today are on the front lines in Adjabiya”.
Mr al-Hasidi insisted his fighters “are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,” but added that the “members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader”.
The invader being Obama and his “coalition”.
More info piling in:
Just like in Egypt, an Energized Muslim Brotherhood in Libya eyes a prize – sharia rule