Special to WorldTribune.com
Col. Moammar Gadhafi warned Western powers that Libya would fall to Islamists if he were toppled from power, Gadhafi’s daughter, Aisha, said.
“Libya has fallen into the tentacles of imperialism,” Aisha, who now resides in Algeria, said.
“The state of the rats didn’t work. The rats don’t build, they eat each other,” said Aisha, as quoted in Al-Ahram Weekly.
Libya fell into chaos after Gadhafi was overthrown and killed. Hillary Clinton, then U.S. secretary of state, was a driving force for U.S. intervention in Libya.
Prof. Yehudit Ronen, a leading expert on Libya and the African Sahel region at Bar-Ilan University, said that Aisha had pointed out that her father “warned the West that what is happening now would happen if he was toppled from power. He ended up being right.”
“The bottom line is that Islamic State has found the perfect storm where it can hunker down and build its power away from the main stage in Syria and Iraq, expanding on its ambitions to implement the caliphate vision deeper into the African Sahel and Maghreb as well as in Egypt and Sudan,” said Ronen.
While it has suffered a string of defeats in Syria and Iran, ISIL has been building a strong presence in Libya.
“As Islamic State losses continue, the attractiveness of Libya as a rear and alternative base could gather momentum and become reality,” said Ronen.
“Libya’s Mediterranean coast is a highly important strategic location for Islamic State, which it penetrated in 2014. The organization is well aware that the coastal strip’s oil and gas-rich infrastructure and ports are turning Libya into an effective jump-off point to expand jihadist terror to the European continent.”
Since the summer of 2014, Libya has had two rival governments: The self-declared one in Tripoli, and the elected and internationally recognized government in Tobruk.
“This week, the third unity government backed by the international community, appeared in the political arena, yet, [without] succeeding to become an effective actor,” Ronen said.