Al Qaeda’s expansion in Libya, following the successful terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi on Sept. 11, is part of a long-term plan by Al Qaeda senior leadership, according to a seasoned counterterrorism investigator.
“Al Qaeda’s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has long had his sights on Libya, and what he devised long ago was a plan to send senior operatives from Pakistan and elsewhere into Libya to build up Al Qaeda’s clandestine network,” Tom Joscelyn, a senior fellow with Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told Fox News.
Joscelyn, who is well known in the counterterrorism world for his “drill-down” on Al Qaeda operatives, said the vacuum left after the attack in Benghazi has created another opening which has allowed the terrorist network to “capitalize on the anti-American momentum and to show how they do have cards to play around the world.”
According to an August report by the Library of Congress in conjunction with military analysts, at least two Al Qaeda operatives — Abu Anas al Libi and Abd al Baset Azzouz — answer directly to Zawahiri.
Joscelyn said a “witches’ brew” of three basic elements now creates fertile ground in Libya for the establishment of a safe haven. They include those dispatched by Al Qaeda senior leadership in Pakistan; the Al Qaeda affiliate in North Africa known as Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb; and local militias which are sympathetic to Al Qaeda and led by former Guantanamo detainee Abu Sufian Ben Qumu.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/12/07/al-qaeda-expansion-in-libya-part-long-term-vision/#ixzz2EWfozgul