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Libyan arms on the move

By Nazim Fethi for Magharebia in Algiers – 08/07/11

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Terrorist groups have managed to ferry considerable quantities of arms across the Ténéré Desert (Mali and Niger), building up a formidable supply that threatens the security of the whole Sahel region.

The Algerian army has increased its presence along the border with Libya. The ANP just deployed an elite infantry brigade and airborne surveillance of the 900 kilometre border is also under way. In Algiers, officials voice concerns about the arms and explosives coming into the country from Libya, where weapons stockpiles have been raided.

Nigerien soldiers recently intercepted al-Qaeda terrorists carrying vast quantities of arms near the Algerian border. RPG-7 anti-tank grenade launchers, Kalashnikov assault rifles, 640kg of Semtex explosive material and 435 detonators were reportedly pillaged from Libyan arms depots.

Al-Qaeda could "take advantage of any chaos following the departure of Kadhafi to extend its influence to the Mediterranean coast," L'Expression quoted NATO's supreme allied commander in Europe, Admiral James Stavridis, as saying.

"The Algerians are very, very worried," he added.

Experts note that the Algerian borders are constantly exposed to the dangers of terrorism, illegal immigration, drugs, weapons and human trafficking, cross-border organised crime and military conflict.

The situation is particularly fluid nowadays, with political turmoil, terror threats and social unrest impacting the security balance in the country. In April, Algeria issued a warning that a batch of Russian-made SA-7 missiles had already fallen into the hands of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

But some say only regional co-operation, with backing from the international community, will prevent arms trafficking in the Sahel region from working to al-Qaeda's advantage .

The Libyan arms traffic threat was a key topic at the recent G6 meeting in Madrid.

"One thing that seems particularly negative is the possible emergence of Libyan Army weapons, or what remains of them, in the hands of terrorists," Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Pérez Rubalacaba said on June 30th.

"The civil war in Libya gives the possibility of AQIM increasing its influence in the Sahel region, where it is now active after first emerging in Algeria," he added.

In September, Algeria will host an international conference on the fight against terrorism and organised crime in the Sahel-Saharan region.

Sahel officials will be joined by UN Security Council permanent members as well as Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. The World Bank and the African Development Bank as well as global thinks tanks, including the Geneva Centre for Narcotics Control and the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, will also be present.

The volume of weapons on the move in the region continues. France last week dropped assault rifles, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades and launchers in rebel-held areas of Libya.

Another source of concern: hundreds of Malian Touareg fighters were reportedly fighting alongside pro-Kadhafi forces. But when recent setbacks for Libyan government forces drove them back to Mali, they returned carrying weapons from the front line.

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  1. Anonymous thumb

    مصطفى الزوى 2012-8-6

    France is a state in a civilised age. It has its interests and pays the price for everything it takes. It doesn’t need a donation from anyone.


  2. Anonymous thumb

    عبد الجواد 2012-4-16

    Those who ran away from Algeria today found safe refuge in some neighbouring countries. They didn’t forget their principal cause for which they have risen up. By the way, they have many supporters but they are hiding under pressure. You can call them whatever you want but they are convinced by their name and their idea. They will never draw back. They are un harmony with each other. If you listen to them, you will be alarmed by their words and amazed at their sacrifices. They don’t despair from the mercy of God as they say. They move forward and backward. But the danger lies in the fact that they are determined to come back.


  3. Anonymous thumb

    فيصل 2011-10-7

    Reply to the comment of Mouhouche. We love Libyans as much as we love peace.


  4. Anonymous thumb

    SURVIVANT 2011-9-17

    Those who supported this imperialist war have plenty of time to explain its ins and outs. Things really started in mid-September! We are in an arena that does not allow for error. The mistake, once made, is unforgivable. The same is true for the deaths, which will not come back to life.


  5. Anonymous thumb

    david brown 2011-8-2

    gaddafi will not lose power. the rebels will not have nato after mid september due to the resolution expiring. without nato they do not have a prayer. even if gaddafi fell, the rebels could not control the country


  6. Anonymous thumb

    NADA 2011-7-21

    CONTINUATION- This Libyan lady stated, “This is our Revolution. It is up to us to lead it … We do not want an intervention from the Westerners. The example of Iraq suffices and it will make us miss Kadhafi!” Look at the report from Yves Bonnet, the former boss of the French DST. After a mission to Benghazi and Tripoli in May 2011, he wrote a report (book). “The war in Libya is based on false information.” Everyone is able to verify their sources and get a proper idea of what is going on. However, let us not be dishonest. At this time, everyone knows what this is about, but some people are hiding behind their fingers, an apparently untenable position. Here, there are even a few people who seriously support NATO’s intervention in Libya as being beneficial to the people of Libya. Some of them do so out of their hatred for Kadhafi, a political problem that cannot hold water. Some tyrants have a lot more blood on their hands and they rule everyone with no less approval from the same people! What inconsistency! What disrepute! For the self-proclaimed judges who demand victims as proof of the harm, may they know that it is up to a neutral arbiter (judge) to declare what is acceptable as evidence and no party can be both party and jury. Their bias for NATO does not authorise them to say what is acceptable as evidence. There is no lack of evidence and the evidence is increasing over time. When three leaders of the coalition against Libya do not get re-elected, it will throw tonnes of information into the public arena – something that will not fail to completely embarrass these people. No one escapes their responsibility – regardless of the scale!


  7. Anonymous thumb

    NADA 2011-7-21

    The time will come when everyone has to present their evidence, and if not before the justice of man, then before that of the Almighty! For now, the tragedy is playing out before our very eyes and the consequences will affect each country in the region gravely. This is part of the plan. We will have ample opportunity to reconsider the writings of each person and judge the imposters. Claiming that the greatest benefit for the people of Libya might come from this macabre adventure of NATO is just irresponsible. All the border countries are going to be destabilised with all the consequences that this will present. We all know what motivated the intervention in Libya and that this intervention was planned quite a long time ago. This is according to Wesley Clark, the former NATO commander since 1997 and a source at the Pentagon. (Go to Youtube.com and watch the interview of Wesley Clark.) The small ideologues of Magharebia should not insult our future and should note that the lies of this politico are known by everyone. Look at the Blog from Gilles Munier and his open letter to the French parliamentarians and senators, “Tripoli Martyrisée” (“Martyred Tripoli”) from July 9, 2011. The one time Parliament was consulted (July 11, 2011), Sarkozy had already deployed France into this dirty war, which is dragging on and protracting and benefits only the weapons dealers and the window shops for Dassault and their likes. The people of France are 51% against this war. The movements on the Left – the real left – the anti-globalisation movement and the many brilliant and courageous intellectuals are denouncing this attack on Libya. The fact that people from the Maghreb would be the mouthpiece of this hegemonic policy is an aberration and an indignity! I cite professor Abeir Immeina from the University of Benghazi on March 11, 2011. She told the press…


  8. Anonymous thumb

    NADA 2011-7-21

    NATO does no need "defenders"! Have a little respect for the suffering of the victims! Have a little dignity! The servants need to change their profession. Everyone will remember them and their gymnastics in the service of the empire, which are as ridiculous as they are useless. These stooges still eat at the troths of the most powerful! They are subjects because of their greed! Nothing can offer as much stupidity per square metre as a stooge. You need to earn your pay.


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    franc tireur 2011-7-20

    The weapons were distributed by the French before the month of October 2010, the date when the conspirators, led by Libyan head of diplomacy Mesmar and the French secret service, met in Hotel Lafayette in Paris to set the date for the launch of Operation Coup d’État Kadhafi. The French are experienced in this field. They did an electoral hold-up in the Ivory Coast, helped – it is true – by Ban Ki-moon, whose knowhow is unparalleled. Take a look at the rightist Italian daily newspaper “Libero”. As for Al Qaeda, any person of any sense should stop speaking about them because this will send the crowds into laughter.


  10. Anonymous thumb

    حياة 2011-7-19

    Al Qaeda doesn’t need arms. In Africa, it has enough for the whole world. With money in Africa, it buys presidents not arms. These are just words and an agreement between Kadhafi and generals of Algeria because they are afraid unless after toppling Kadhafi things turn against them for their hideous act in the carnages they committed against the Algerian people as did their Kadhafi commit the carnage of Bouslim.


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    Anonymous 2011-7-18

    Given that the Little Libyan Madman’s days are numbered, he wants to undermine the entire region of the Grand Maghreb and take everyone to Hell with him. This inert rat has started passing out arms right and left to anyone who shows up, especially Al Qaeda in the Maghreb and the Sahel Touaregs in order to lead the guerrillas against the powers that be and create unrest and civil wars.


  12. Anonymous thumb

    Essid 2011-7-17

    To NADA- Do you have any proof of these massacres? A Tomahawk missile cost $600,000 and they are very precise. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzvFZnew41U&feature=related) Airplanes and helicopters cost millions of dollars and the price of their munitions ranges from thousands of dollars (bullets) to hundreds of thousands of dollars (rockets, bombs). Do you think that NATO would waste $600,000 on targeting civilians? Do you think that NATO would risk millions of dollars in airplanes and helicopters millions just to kill civilians? Do you think that NATO would engage in a type of warfare (that is, massacres) that would garner support for its enemy? Whether or not you agree with the objectives of NATO, you will agree that the commanders of NATO are neither stupid, nor foolhardy, nor wasteful – and massacring would require all three of these characteristics. NATO has three types of targets in Libya: military equipment, military installations and command installations. There is a reason you cannot find any corroborated information about massacres by NATO: it is because NATO did not commit them. From time to time, the NATO soldiers will wrongly identify a civilian as a target or the explosion from one of NATO’s missiles will accidentally kill or wound a civilian. I remember that seven civilians were wrongly identified as enemy soldiers. Killing seven people is a terrible loss, but it is not a massacre. On the other hand, for a dictator, massacres are a common tactic because they inspire fear in the population. This is why it is so easy to find video and photographic evidence of massacres perpetrated by Kadhafi against Libyan civilians (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IvnxBQnGLM).


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    NADA 2011-7-15

    To Allal- I too do not like Kadhafi, but that does not give anyone the right to massacre the Libyan people and their future for their so-called good!? It is as if we were to say that we needed to poison the village’s water supply in order to rid the villagers of a bad chief! What is going on is insane! And they let us know that this carnage is costing France alone 1 million euros per day!!! This business must truly be profitable! We have never seen a Western government give a cent of its taxpayers’ money to help the underdeveloped (given their exclusivity)! And what do we do? We echo their machinations! The people of the Maghreb are too much!


  14. Anonymous thumb

    Maghribi 2011-7-15

    The aim of NATO and the entire coalition is none other than to set foot in Libya. The Al-Qaeda mercenaries have been heavily armed, as have the Berber minorities of Jebel Nafusa. The activists are struggling loudly on the web to get young people into the streets. The European governments are exhorting the governments to collaborate with the “international community”. This summer is hot, but autumn will be torrid!!!


  15. Anonymous thumb

    nastradamos 2011-7-12

    To the one who talks about Algerian intelligence. Do you know what the mission of the intelligence is? It is the protection of the country and nation only with all available means. It doesn’t matter if they are legitimate or not, if they are banned or not because the most important thing is to protect nations. If we find some interest for Algeria and for us, we will even use your name personally, address you anything that falls in our hands. This is because the mission of the intelligence agent is simply to protect nations. Don’t be that stupid! If Magharebia site authorises publishing this comparison, you will get the idea. I don’t think it constitutes any threat to your national security. At the time when Soviets moved missiles, provoked the USA and addressed missiles to Cuba, do you know what the American intelligence was discussing then? They were discussing something you can’t believe. It is feigning a missile attack to the American territory in order to be finally able to occupy Cuba and close the door to the Soviets. However, they found another solution less risky. However, hadn’t they found such a solution, the American intelligence would have carried out this measure and they are totally right in this as they seek the protection of the American federal security. But if you are asking the intelligence to abide by religion, five prayers in mosques and open humanitarian organisations, you have to go to Plato’s city may be Utopia will help you. I thank you although I have decided not to raise the level of debate to the highest level. However, I have legally to explain things, educate children who talk about the Algerian intelligence as if they are talking about fashion show or a tasty dish in Ramadan. O Lord remove the screen from the eyes of kids, enable them to see and don’t make them retarded in everything!


  16. Anonymous thumb

    allal 2011-7-11

    France is the only one who does not like Kadhafi! I smell a rat!


  17. Anonymous thumb

    safi 2011-7-10

    Concerning the situation in Libya. I think it won’t return as it was. Some don’t know the reality about the situation there. Libya was subject to the biggest conspiracy. They see in the so-called revolution a gain. But it will be the cause for the absence of security and moral depravity. The simplest example is that in Libya wine isn’t sold. But in coming years it will be sold with the authorisation of those who will be granted power by the USA.


  18. Anonymous thumb

    dr. amin charif 2011-7-8

    To Magharebia, who is the author of this article? Is it Fathi El Fitouri or Nazim Fethi? Fabrication and infiltration happened to you. You fell prey to agents of Algerian or Libyan intelligence, Magharebia.


  19. Anonymous thumb

    dr. amin charif 2011-7-8

    This is another agent infiltrated in the Magharebia site, a mouthpiece of the Algerian generals ruling there. Don’t Algerians feel shame and disgrace for their support to the dictator despot Kadhafi who ruled his people with iron and fire? By God it is a pity for all the jewels of our women and efforts of our Libyan brothers who fought with the rebels of the Liberation Front, their hardships in smuggling arms and ammunition from Wheelus base for them to fight the French. We have taught our orphan children Arabic language, hosted them in hard times. But today, they are supplying the despot with arms and mercenaries from the group of the microscopic republic of Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz who was armed by Kadhafi with SA-7 missiles, guns and rockets and Estrella missiles and even T-52 tanks to kill Moroccans, divide their land, sow strife and entertain them from developing their people. Algerians are taking a position against humanity, against the Libyan people who said no to Kadhafi and his sons but he said I would either rule you or kill you. Why don’t these people feel shame, disgrace and stop harming the Libyan people. They should keep quiet or leave us alone. We can counter the despot. Tomorrow will come very soon.


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    mouhouche 2011-7-8

    Who cares about the fate of North Africa or the sub-Saharan countries? Sarkozy? Surely not. I have always said that Nicolas Sarkozy does not like the Algerians or Algeria. What matters are Libya’s underground resources and nothing else. Regarding our fears about weapons being in the hands of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and coming to attack us in the North, forgive me for saying so, but Sarkozy did not give a damn about them since this is far from his home. This war is purely large-scale, multinational robbery with a racist nature. The Union of the Mediterranean was indeed his idea. Now it is called “The War against the Union of the Mediterranean”.


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