The volatile country, still reeling after the Benghazi attack and several recent bombings, has become a magnet for al Qaeda terrorists determined to sow instability in the region.
A rare interview with a top Libyan intelligence official reveals that, as an unintended consequence of the French intervention to quash a radical Muslim insurgency in nearby Mali, which forced al Qaeda in the Mahgreb to move north earlier this year, Libya has now become the main base of the terror group in the region, heightening the instability of what is already a volatile country.
“Libya has become AQIM’s headquarters,” says the intelligence source, adding that in just the last few weeks three new al Qaeda camps have opened in southern Libya.
The terror group’s boosted presence in Libya comes at a time when the struggling country is reeling from several threats to—or attacks on—Western targets.
On April 23, jihadist bombers sought to attack the British Council in Tripoli just minutes after other members of a suspected al Qaeda cell managed to detonate a powerful blast outside the French Embassy. The embassy bombing left two gendarmes injured—one seriously—and wounded several locals. The attack on the British Council failed—thanks to the incompetence of the jihadists.