Freed by Kadhafi’s son, Seif al-Islam
Very appropriate, since Seif al-Islam means “Sword of Islam.” His work is not done, however; he plans on releasing another 170 jihadis with close ties to al-Qaeda. “Libya frees 136 Islamists close to Qaeda,” from AFP, March 11 :
TRIPOLI (AFP) – Libya has freed 136 members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, an Islamist group close to Al-Qaeda, in the past two years, the Kadhafi Foundation headed by the son of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi said on Wednesday.
“Since the start of the dialogue two years ago, 136 members of the group have been freed,” said the foundation headed by Seif al-Islam Kadhafi.
“Work is continuing to release another group among the 170 remaining members,” it added.
The Foundation in April last year had announced the freeing of 90 members of the group who had been held in the Abu Salim prison in Tripoli.
Al-Qaeda announced in an audiotape posted on an Islamist website in November 2007 that the Libyan group had joined the jihadist network.
Formed clandestinely in Afghanistan in the early 1990s, the Libyan group first came to wider knowledge in 1995 as it launched an armed campaign against Kadhafi’s regime.
From his base in central Asia, its leader Abu Laith al-Libi became a trusted lieutenant of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden but was reported killed in February last year in a US missile strike on one of the tribal agencies of northwest Pakistan that border Afghanistan.