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Escobar: Al-Qaeda asset is military commander of Tripoli

Published time: August 26, 2011 22:06
Edited time: August 27, 2011 03:28

Lybia, Tripoli : A Libyan rebel flashes the victory sign while driving through a seaside road in Tripoli at sunset on August 26, 2011. ( AFP Photo / Filippo Monteforte)

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Speaking to RT today live from Brazil, Asia Times correspondent Pepe Escobar said that an al-Qaeda asset is now leading the military of rebel-controlled Libya.

According to Escobar, Abdelhakim Belhadj, who commanded a military offensive in Libya over the weekend, has become the de facto commander of the Tripoli armed forces. Belhadj has also, says Escobar, was trained in Afghanistan by a

“very hardcore Islamist Libyan group.”

Escobar says that Taliban-linked sources overseas have confirmed Belhadj as the new commander. In the aftermath of 9/11, the CIA began tracking Belhadj, who was eventually captured in Malaysia in 2003. Escobar says that he was then tortured in Bangkok before being transferred back to Libya and imprisoned. He made a deal that allowed for his release in 2009 and as of this week is the military commander of Tripoli.

“I can say almost for sure with 95 percent certainty that this is the guy,” Escobar confirms.

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