The sources said Gadhafi has managed to divide the opposition to his
regime. They said several leading tribes have refused to join the revolt and
instead are taking a wait-and-see approach.
The sources said the opposition has been receiving generous funding from
Saudi Arabia, long a target of Gadhafi. But they said the opposition has
been divided by both tribal rivalries as well as the emergence of an Islamic
movement guided by the Muslim Brotherhood in neighboring Egypt.
The Islamists were said to be hoarding weapons sent from Egypt rather
than fighting the Gadhafi regime. The sources said the Islamists appeared
to be preparing for the day after Gadhafi's expected ouster, when the
opposition was expected to fight each other for control.
Libya's major tribes have also failed to join the opposition. Instead,
the tribes were seeking to carve out power zones that would serve as
bargaining chips in a post-Gadhafi Libya.
"They are more interested in killing each other than in killing
Gadhafi," another intelligence source said.
On Feb. 25, an opposition drive to Tripoli failed. A force of several
dozen fighters in 4x4 sports utility vehicles drove toward Tripoli
and was eliminated by Gadhafi troops, many of them African mercenaries.
"Entering Tripoli is not easy," Brig. Gen. Ahmed Gatrani, a rebel
At this point, the opposition has taken control of eastern Libya near
part of the border with Egypt. But the Gadhafi regime was believed to
remain the authority throughout the west and much of the south. On March 1,
thousands of Gadhafi troops were deployed near the Tunisian border in what
appeared to mark an imminent offensive against opposition forces.
"The only way to stop this is to kill Gadhafi himself," the source
said. "He is a survivor and knows how to compensate his loyalists."