Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Libya jihadists: Clear and present danger?

As Libya's Transitional National Council edges toward power, the North African country's fraught political scene is overshadowed by what Donald Rumsfeld would have called a great known unknown.

No one knows or can tell how strong the extreme Islamist or jihadist element actually is in Libya's rebel ranks but many old Libya hands in European diplomatic circles insist the radical Islamic element in the evolving opposition -- now verging toward power -- isn't to be trifled with.

There are good reasons for heeding that argument. Through the years of Moammar Gadhafi's rule, in fact since he took power on Sept. 1 1969, radical Muslim skepticism over his Islamic credentials has taken many forms.

Throughout that period a trickle of Islamist asylum seekers who managed to escape his frequent crackdowns made Europe their home. Libyan exiles are everywhere but many are concentrated in Britain, Ireland, Italy and Germany.

Just as there are Libyan Christians and Jews spread across Europe there are Islamists of various persuasions across Europe who almost mirror the different strands of Islamist radical -- and more recently -- Jihadist movements in Libya. (more)