Al Qaeda offers aid to rebels in Libya
Bin Laden gets Gadhafi blame
Al Qaeda‘s North Africa affiliate publicly offered its assistance and support to rebels in Libya who are fighting to wrest control of the country from troops still loyal to Col. Moammar Gadhafi.
Meanwhile, fighting raged Thursday between foreign mercenaries and Libyan militiamen backing the embattled leader and rebels seeking the overthrow of his regime. Rebel forces were moving closer to the capital, Tripoli, the Associated Press reported from Benghazi.
Rebel forces also seized a military air base while Col. Gadhafi in a speech blamed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden for the turmoil in the North African state.
A statement released Feb. 24 on the al Qaeda-affiliated al-Fajr media website quoted the group known as Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) as saying: “We declare our support for the legitimate demands of the Libyan revolution. We assert to our people in Libya that we are with you and will not let you down, God willing. We will give everything we have to support you, with God’s grace.”
U.S. officials said they had seen no evidence as of Thursday that the group established a base or joined the fighting. Al Qaeda has endorsed the uprisings in Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and now Libya.
There is no sure way to tell what's going on there.