Libya: Al-Qaeda urges rebels to establish Islamist rule
last update: October 04, 13:19
Rome, 4 Oct. (AKI) - Underscoring concerns about a rise of extremism in Libya, the purported leader of Al-Qaeda's North African branch has urged the rebels who ousted autocratic leader Muammar Gaddafi to impose Islamic rule.
In a 12-minute audio message posted to jihadist websites, the voice of a man identified as Abdelmalek Droukdel congratulated the rebels for toppling Gaddafi and taking the Libyan capital, Tripoli.
But the message warned the west to stay away from Libya and urged rebels not to succumb to "NATO blackmail" as Gaddafi and members of his family remained at large.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb will torch the armies of France and NATO in Libya if they attempt to lead a ground invasion of the country," the message said. "We will set their armies alight if they set foot in Libya," it stated.
To avenge Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden's killing by US special forces in Pakistan in May, AQIM will "deal a killing blow and will destroy the economies of western countries to complete the 9/11 attacks on America," the message warned.
The message said anti-Gaddafi forces' victory in Libya would inspire a revolution in neighbouring Algeria and urged Libyans to rise up against the rebel National Transitional Council, described as an agent of France.
"It is for Libyans to protect their revolution agains the unbeliever countries and the servants of France," the message stated.
"No foreign party has the right to interfere in the affairs of Libya or to try and impose alternatives," the message added.
The authenticity of the tape has not been verified.