Major news out of Libya as Abdelhakim Belhadj, the former head of the al Qaeda-linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, and a major player in the U.S.-backed overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi, has reportedly joined the Islamic State and is leading its forces there. This according to The Blaze National Security journalist Sara Carter on Twitter, and Fox News’ Catherine Herridge in a Fox News report.
Belhadj’s ties to al Qaeda were controversial during the run up to U.S. airstrikes in support of the Libyan rebels, but this did not prevent him from maintaining a high profile at the time, including being made head of the Tripoli Military Council, a position he held until resigning to run for office in May 2012. Belhadj has a reputation for involvement in the international jihad has well, playing a role in the 2004 Madrid training bombings, and accused by investigators of being involved in the murder of two Tunisian politicians at behest of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Islamic State fighters landed in Libya back in November 2014, and have been at work establishing training camps in the Libyan city of Derna before launching a terror offensive which included an attack on a Libyan hotel, attacks on oil field workers, and the execution of 21 Copts in a graphic video which made international headlines.
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