Libyan militants call for revenge attacks on US over arrest of Al Qaeda leader Abu Anas Al Lbi
Militants in Libya are calling for the kidnapping of American citizens in Tripoli and for an increased number of attacks on gas pipelines, ships and plans in revenge for the capture of a senior Al Qaeda official by US forces in Libya last week.
Al Qaeda senior figure Abu Anas al-Libi was captured last week by US special forces in Tripoli and is a suspect in the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 civilians, Reuters reported.
US officials say Libi was snatched off the streets of Tripoli and is now being held aboard a US naval ship in the Mediterranean, according to Reuters.
Messages posted by Libyan jihadists on the Internet and monitored by the SITE service included a Facebook page called "Benghazi is Protected by its People", Reuters reported.
The messages urged Libyans to block all entrances and exits to Tripoli, Libya's capital, and kidnap US citizens and other Westerners and use them as a bargaining tool in Libi's release. Reuters reported that the messages also called on militants to attack and damage pipelines that export gas to Europe, and to target foreign ships and planes.
"Libya today is still a place of disbelief that is ruled by something other than the Shariah of Allah; thus, there is no security for disbelievers there," the message said, Reuters said.
A group called "the Revolutionaries of Benghazi - al-Bayda, Derna" condemned the Al Qaeda official's capture on social media and accused Libyan leaders of being warned by the US about the operation before it took place.
This contradicts the official Libyan line on the matter, as Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said at the weekend that the government had asked the United States to explain the raid, according to Reuters.
The "Revolutionaries of Benghazi - al-Bayda, Derna" pledged to fight "everyone who betrayed his country and involved himself in this conspiracy. We say that this shameful act will cost the Libyan government a lot and it will be as you will see and not as you hear."
Since the ouster of rogue dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Islamist militants, including those linked to radical Sunni group Al Qaeda, have used Libya as a base for fighters and as a hub for weapons shipments.
Al Qaeda's North African offshoot goes by the name of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, but it also populated by other Islamist affiliates who either cooperate with the network or sympathize with its ideology, Reuters reported.
According to the FBI's 'most wanted' profile of Libi, the Al Qaeda leader is 49.The FBI offered a $5 million reward for his capture.
In 2000, Libi was indicted along with 20 other Al Qaeda members - including Osama Bin Laden and current Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri, Reuters reported.
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