Videojournalisten Sherif Elhelwa på Vice
skulle undersöka om det verkligen stämmer
att Al Qaedas flagga vajar över många officiella
byggnader i det nya Libyen.
Det gjorde det....
It was here at the courthouse in Benghazi where the first
spark of the Libyan revolution ignited. It’s the symbolic
seat of the revolution; post-Gaddafi Libya’s equivalent
of Egypt’s Tahrir Square. And it was here, in the tumultuous
months of civil war, that the ragtag rebel forces established
their provisional government and primitive, yet effective,
media center from which to tell foreign journalists about their
“fight for freedom.”
But according to multiple eyewitnesses—myself included—
one can now see both the Libyan rebel flag and the flag of
al Qaeda fluttering atop Benghazi’s courthouse.
According to one Benghazi resident, Islamists driving brand-
new SUVs and waving the black al Qaeda flag drive the city’s
streets at night shouting, "Islamiya, Islamiya! No East, nor
West," a reference to previous worries that the country would
be bifurcated between Gaddafi opponents in the east and the
pro-Gaddafi elements in the west.
Earlier this week, I went to the Benghazi courthouse and
confirmed the rumors: an al Qaeda flag was clearly visible;
its Arabic script declaring that “there is no God but Allah”
and a full moon underneath.
When I tried to take pictures, a Salafi-looking guard, wearing
a green camouflage outfit, rushed towards me and demanded
to know what I was doing. My response was straightforward:
I was taking a picture of the flag. He gave me an intimidating
look and hissed, "Whomever speaks ill of this flag, we will
cut off his tongue. I recommend that you don't publish these.
You will bring trouble to yourself.”
He followed me inside the courthouse, but luckily my driver
Khaled was close by, and interceded on my behalf.
According to Khaled, the guard had angrily threatened to
harm me. When I again engaged him in conversation, he
told me "this flag is the true flag of Islam," and was un-
responsive when I argued with him that historically Islam
has never been represented by a single flag.
The guard claimed repeatedly that there is no al Qaeda in
Libya, and that the flag flying atop the courthouse is “dark
black,” while the al Qaeda flag is charcoal black. To many
locals, it’s a distinction without a difference.
One man approached me with a friendly warning:
"I recommend that you leave now; [the Islamist fighters]
could be watching you."
But none of this should be surprising. In Tripoli, Abdelhakim
Belhaj, a well-known al Qaeda fighter and founder of the
notorious Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), is now
leading the rebel “military counsel” in Tripoli.
A few weeks ago, Belhaj ordered his fighters to take command
of the Tripoli airport, then controlled by a group of Zintan
fighters, a brigade of Berber Libyans who helped liberate the
capital from Gaddafi loyalists. A few days later, Belhaj gave a
speech emphasizing that his actions had the blessings of the
NTC, who appointed him to the leadership of Tripoli’s military
Michael J Totten kommenterar bilden:
Al Qaeda doesn’t control Libya,
but it’s obviously present and coming
out of the shadows.
And there’s no chance whatsoever that
Al Qaeda will participate in elections and
lose gracefully. If Libya’s authorities don’t
do something about this, and fast,
they—and we—should expect hell.
Och vad är det som vajar över Tahrirtorget i Kairo ?