Libyan Islamists supplied arms to Algeria hostage-takers

AFP-Jiji

The arms used by militants who seized an Algerian gas plant in a deadly hostage-taking drama came from Libyan rebels who overthrew Moammar Gadhafi last year, an Algerian newspaper reported Wednesday.

“The first interrogations of the three terrorists captured by security services have revealed that rebels in Zintan (southwest Libya) were behind the sale of the arms used against the gas plant,” the Echorouk daily reported.

Algeria has said 37 foreigners of eight nationalities and one Algerian were killed in the four-day siege, which ended Saturday in a rescue operation by security forces.

The militants’ chief, Algerian Mohamed Lamine Bencheneb, who was killed in the assault, negotiated the sale of Kalashnikov assault rifles for $500 a piece and rockets priced at $800, according to Echorouk.

A source in Libya said Tuesday the militants also received logistical aid from Islamists in Libya. “Logistical support was provided from Libya,” said the source close to hardline Islamist groups in Libya, which has seen a rise in extremism since the fall of Gadhafi.

The source did not specify the exact nature of the aid but acknowledged that Libyan Islamists were also responsible for establishing contacts between the captors and the media.

The Tunisian daily El Watan, meanwhile, reported that “the operation was organized and prepared in Libya. Only some elements came from northern Mali to reinforce the group.” Their heavy arms came from Libya, “where tons of weaponry were dropped by French aircraft during the uprising against Gadhafi,” it said, quoting Tunisian security sources.

  • Gaijin de la Mancha

    Rifles and rocket-propelled grenades are not, by definition, “heavy.” In fact, the term “heavy arms” is not correct. The correct term is “heavy weapons,” and that refers specifically to ARTILLERY. “Light” weaponry, which is defined as hand-held armaments, was stupidly delivered, and then promptly sold on the Black Market and/or handed over to Islamist networks… OBVIOUSLY. NOTE: Idiotic policies always result in predictably bad outcomes, and the “voting public” can never seem to add 2+2… thus letting such idiotic decisions (and the political animals who made them) continue. That said, the poor choice of words in the article implies that the French actually air-dropped artillery, and the fact that the French DON’T produce Kalashnikov rifles (and very likely the rocket-propelled weapons in question) was entirely overlooked. Hmm? From where were these weapons originally sourced? This report is woefully incomplete, and thus appears to be purposefully superficial and manipulated.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004421197233 Tatsushige Shigure

    So let me get this straight, the WEST armed and financed the Libyan rebels to throw over Gadhafi and in return the Libyan rebels sold the weapons to militants that killed 10 Japanese … So the truth is the WEST is responsible for the death of the Japanese because once again they interfered in something that was none of their business and armed and financed scum again …

    This rings of Ronal Reagan’s meeting with the TALIBAN in the 1980’s

    What did Reagan say ? … …. OH that is right “These gentlemen are the moral equivalents of America’s founding fathers.” – Ronal Reagan, 1985 meeting with the Taliban.

    American founding fathers were TERRORIST ? Great to know!!.

    That inference with the Taliban came back and bit the US on the ****.

    And now the WEST are supporting the Syrian rebels …. OMG! … You understand why I moved to Japan.