Monday, March 01, 2004

Libya: is Iran out to get Libya?

According to a story which appeared in the Daily Telegraph, "western intelligence specialists" have learned that Iran is threatening to unleash Islamic fundamentalist groups on Libya to keep it from disclosing any more information about the blackmarket nuclear network.
The Libyan Combat Islamic Group (GICL) was expelled from Libya by Gaddafi in 1997 after it was implicated in attacks against government targets. At first the group relocated to Afghanistan, where it became closely involved in Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda organisation.

After the war in Afghanistan in 2001 the Libyan group was given a safe haven in Iran, together with other North African terrorist groups linked to al-Qaeda. Now the Iranians have agreed to provide the Libyan dissidents with expert training to enable them to attack Libyan targets and intensify their campaign to overthrow Gaddafi.

... One of the reasons that Gaddafi sought to improve relations with British intelligence following September 11 was his concern about the growing effectiveness of Libya's Islamic terrorist groups. The improved relations culminated in Gaddafi's decision, announced at the end of last year, to dismantle his weapons of mass destruction.
Libya's disclosures thus far have already netted some big fish ... consider the case of the disgraced Pakistani nuclear expert A.Q. Khan and his company, A Q Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) ...
... [The global nuclear blackmarket was] a clandestine network of scientists, manufacturers and middlemen spread across four continents and with Abdul Qadeer Khan - KRL's founder - at its head. They operated a blackmarket of atomic expertise so extensive that it was dubbed a 'Nuclear Walmart' by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohammed El Baradei.

... It was Libya that proved the network's ultimate downfall. Following a decision by Libyan leader Col Moammar Ghadaffi to give up the country's weapons of mass destruction, the Libyans provided inspectors with intimate details of their programmes, a diplomatic source said.

The Daily Telegraph story, written by Con Coughlin, appeared in the February 29 edition of the paper.