600 Pro-al Qaeda Militants Released from Libyan Prison

Posted: August 28, 2011 in US News, World News

From The Left
August 28, 2011

Five months ago, President Barack Obama, while in Brazil and without congressional approval, gave the order for the U.S. military to begin its bombing campaign of Libya.

Facing harsh criticism from congress, as well as from a war weary American public, Obama, in a brief 28 minute speech, said the reason he decided to intervene in Libya was “our interests and values are at stake.”

Five months later, Moammar Gaddafi’s regime is on its final legs, as U.S.-backed rebels storm Libya’s capital city of Tripoli and President Obama and his supporters undoubtedly prepare to take credit for a job well done.

However, in the aftermath of Gaddafi’s ouster, U.S.-backed rebels released as many as 600 pro-al Qaeda militants held in Tripoli’s Abu Salim prison. Gaddafi imprisoned thousands of suspected pro-al Qaeda militants after the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq which had stoked Islamic radicalization in Libya.

Apparently, President Obama failed to consider this as part of the outcome of ousting Moammar Gaddafi from power.

While the Abu Salim prison release appears to not register on President Obama’s radar, neighboring Algeria, which waged a long battle against Islamist insurgents in the 1990s, has expressed concern about the instability in Libya being exploited by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and other jihadist groups.

Algerian officials are also concerned that weapons such as ground-to-air missiles may have fallen into militant hands.

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