Lebovich on Libyan Weapons

Andrew Lebovich posted another sterling review of negative developments in North Africa that maybe a consequence of the Libyan revolution. In keeping with what he wrote back in June and September, Andrew’s November post, titled “Even More on Libya’s Weapons,” offers details on the weapons at play, where they’re circulating, and for what ends they may ultimately be used. Andrew voices some reservations about there being a direct link between Libya and other north African conflicts, but he admits such a connection may be authentic and eventually confirmed:

As has been the case from the first sign of Libyan weapons flowing from the country’s armories, we must wait and see how these weapons actually impact the Sahel and surrounding areas. Violence has escalated drastically in northern Algeria and northern Nigeria in recent months, and a number of observers have put the blame squarely on Libyan weapons… However, I have seen no direct proof, whether from militant groups themselves or forensic evidence presented by authorities, that the weapons used are Libyan — though AQIM commander Mokhtar Belmokhtar reportedly said in an interview recently that AQIM had acquired Libyan arms. But whether violence is happening now or battles erupt later, it seems depressingly clear that such large outflows of deadly cargo can only fuel and intensify conflict in the Sahel for some time to come.

Andrew’s a good friend of Al Ajnabee and a Policy Analyst for the New America Foundation. We also highly recommend a recent article of his published by West Point’s CTC Sentinel: “AQIM Returns in Force in Northern Algeria.” He blogs at Al-Wasat, where he and other regional observers comment on Islamism, radicalization, terrorism, the Middle East, and Africa.


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