Libyan Rebel Leader: We Want to “Cut Gaddafi’s Throat and Establish an Islamic State”

French journalist Julien Fouchet found more than just a few “flickers” of Al-Qaeda among the rebel ranks in Libya. Fouchet describes seeing imams driving in a pick-up truck and reciting prayers over a loudspeaker to the rebels.

Iman Bugaighis, the spokesman for the National Transition Council, admitted, “We have twenty-five fighters on the front that were linked to al-Qaida.”

John Rosenthal at Pajamas Media reported:

“The Jihadists Go to the Front.” This is the title of French journalist Julien Fouchet’s report from eastern Libya that appears in the latest edition of the French Sunday paper Le Journal du Dimanche (JDD). Whereas American officials have been straining to make out “flickers” of intelligence suggesting a jihadist influence in the eastern Libyan rebellion against the rule of Muammar al-Gaddafi, Fouchet encountered a flagrant jihadist presence and met with participants who talked openly about their dedication to jihad and/or their desire to establish an Islamic state.

On the front near the oil-producing town of Brega, for instance, Fouchet spotted a bearded commander on a sand dune giving orders by satellite phone. The man wore the traditional robe favored by the Salafist current of Islamic fundamentalism and had a Kalashnikov slung over his shoulder. “You can’t speak to him,” rebel fighters told Fouchet. “He is not fighting for Libya. If he is fighting today, it’s for Allah.” Fouchet describes seeing imams driving among the ranks of the rebel fighters in a pick-up truck and reciting prayers over a loudspeaker

…In Darnah, Fouchet also spoke to a rebel commander whom he identifies as “Hakim al-Sadi.” The commander in question is presumably in fact Abdul-Hakim al-Hasadi, who, as reported on PJM, has admitted to fighting on the side of al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, as well as to recruiting Libyans to fight with al-Qaeda in Iraq. The biographical details attributed by Fouchet to “al-Sadi” correspond to the known details of the biography of al-Hasadi. These include his settling in Afghanistan prior to the 9/11 terror attacks and the subsequent American-led invasion, his detention by American forces in Pakistan in 2002, and his transfer to and imprisonment in his home country Libya.

Interestingly, Fouchet says that he spoke to “al-Sadi” as the latter was “leaving for the front to coordinate operations.” “In the past,” the rebel commander told Fouchet, “I didn’t like NATO. They fired missiles on Afghanistan. Now that they are helping us in Libya, it’s different. But if there are problems with them, if they begin to occupy our country, we can turn on them in the click of your fingers.”

As to his goals, “al-Sadi” explained to Fouchet that he had rejoined the jihad in order to “cut Gaddafi’s throat and establish an Islamic state.”

More here.

UPDATE: A senior security official in Algeria claims that the Al Qaeda terrorist organization is taking advantage of the turmoil in Libya to purchase weapons, according to Reuters.

UPDATE: Geraldo was on tonight and insisted that the young bearded man in the photo above is not Al-Qaeda.

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