UN: Libya Arms Could Reach al-Qaeda, Boko Haram

Large Quantities of Weapons Smuggled Out of Country

by Jason Ditz, January 26, 2012

A new UN report warned that despite the repeated efforts by the NATO-backed NTC government as well as US and other officials deployed to Libya to try to secure the border, large quantities of weapons have managed to find their way out of the country into the neighboring Sahel region.

The Sahel is a belt which spans Northern Africa just south of the Libyan border. The UN report cautioned that now that the arms were outside Libya they could spread across the continent, and were likely to reach the Boko Haram faction in Nigeria as well as al-Qaeda’s auxiliary in the area, al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

AQIM has said as much several times, terming themselves one of the “main beneficiaries” of the NATO-backed civil war in Libya. The exact extent of the weapons looted from the Gadhafi regime’s arsenals are so vast they will likely never be fully accounted for.

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