Feb 25, 2011

Gaddafi's claims simply don't add up

As reported here and elsewhere, Muammar Gaddafi is blaming al Qaeda for drugging the pro-democracy demonstrators in Libya and provoking them into revolt.

If we avoid coming to the conclusions that Colonel Gaddafi is either deranged or lying, there's still little evidence that the Libyan revolution has been orchestrated or inspired by al Qaeda.

Consider al Qaeda's disposition throughout the world - small cells of terrorists lying in wait, using the resources of their host country to create effective attacks to inspire fear in the heart of the west. Not only is Libya not part of the west, but the protests and revolt happening there involve a very large portion of the population.

Also we should look at al Qaeda's preferred method of attack - using improvised explosive devices, assault parties using small arms, and suicide bombers. When one looks at the rebels on the streets of Libyan cities, there are large masses of people - hardly evident of al Qaeda-like tactics at work.

So Colonel Gaddafi's claims do not hold water. The revolt in Libya shows none of the signs of al Qaeda sponsored or inspired violence. On the surface, it doesn't even seem to be Islamist in character.

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