The Bomb Attacks in Libya: Are Gaddafi Loyalists Behind Them?
The Bomb Attacks in Libya: Are Gaddafi Loyalists Behind Them?: Or are the jihadists? The incidents pile up even as the newly elected government has not quite established a security regimen — An article by Time Magazine’s Steven Sotloff which quotes me.
“We know that Gaddafi loyalists are behind these bombings” says a source close to the country’s newly elected president Muhammad Muqaryef. In the last few months, the security services have intensified the campaign against the late dictator’s loyalists in strongholds such as Bani Walid and Tarhuna. In a recent interview with TIME, Prime Minister Abdel Rahmin al-Kib noted that a bomb making cell in Tripoli was captured, yielding much information about how the loosely organized cells operate.
Some however believe jihadists are behind the bombings because many of the attacks have singled out Western targets such as the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and convoys carrying the British ambassador and the United Nations special envoy to Libya.
Some Libyan analysts believe the government has found a convenient scapegoat in the disgruntled loyalists. “It’s easy for the government to blame Gaddafi supporters for the violence,” explains Anas El Gomati, Director of Governance and Security at Al Sadeq Institute. But the real culprit is government negligence he says. “It’s a case of violence in a vacuum.”
The National Transitional Council (NTC), the interim government that overthrew Qaddafi received low marks for its handling of the post revolution security situation. It failed to stabilize the country and demobilize the more than 100,000 fighters who toppled the former regime. “The problem is that Libya is awash in groups with grievances against the central authorities combined with easy access to guns, money, and bomb making materials,” notes Jason Pack, a researcher of Libyan history at Cambridge University.