For those trying to put yesterday’s Benghazi, Libya embassy attack in perspective, Knowledge Ninja Dr. Geoff Porter has been writing for weeks about the violence present in the country. Several weeks back he wrote an article posted on The Arabist describing the different violent factions at play. Check out the story at this link and here’s a quote from August 21:
But violence in Libya is mutating. In contrast to the violence that Libya underwent during the revolution and immediately afterward with intermittent fighting between militias, what is taking place now is definitively terrorism.
Yesterday he followed up with a post at the Huffington Post where he described the factors influencing yesterday’s violence. Also a good read and here’s an excerpt.
In the early days of the revolution in Libya, there were questions about whether al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), an al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist group, would take advantage of the lawlessness in Libya. At the time, I argued that it was unlikely that AQIM would decamp from northwestern Mali to Libya, but instead it was likely that new radical Salafi groups would emerge in Libya. It now appears that there are at least two radical Salafi groups, if not more, that are either avowed allies of al-Qaeda or at least share al-Qaeda’s salafi jihadi ideology. The first, which carried out the attack on the US consulate in June, was called the Brigade for the Release of the Imprisoned Sheikh Omar Abdulrahman, named after the alleged mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombings. The second group is Ansar al-Sharia, the Victors of Sharia.