Libyan rebels’ Islamist ties cause concern
A Canadian intelligence report written in late 2009 called the anti-Gaddafi stronghold of eastern Libya an “epicentre of Islamist extremism” and said “extremist cells” operated in the region, now being defended by a Canadian-led NATO coalition.
The report by the government’s Integrated Threat Assessment Centre said “several Islamist insurgent groups” were based in eastern Libya and mosques in Benghazi were urging followers to fight in Iraq.
“Within the region, the population holds more conservative views compared to the rest of Libya and Islamist activism is strongly concentrated,” said the report labelled ‘‘secret’’ and released to the National Post under the Access to Information Act.
Photo: Rebels retreat after forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi attacked them near Brega in eastern Libya, March 30, 2011. (REUTERS/Finbarr O’Reilly)
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