Video: 'al Qaeda in Libya'
A video posted on Youtube on March 26 is titled in Arabic "al Qaeda in Libya, woe to those who hate." The parade of technicals fly the black flag associated with jihadist groups, specifically al Qaeda in Iraq. Many of the banners include Arabic script of the Shahada (Islamic creed: "'There is no God, but Allah, and Muhammad is Allah's Messenger"), and the white or yellow sphere that was declared to represent the seal of Mohammed by the Islamic State of Iraq, a political front for Sunni insurgent groups spearheaded by al Qaeda in Iraq.
The SITE Intelligence Group translated the Islamic State of Iraq's 2007 release announcing the flag. Among other specifications, it specifically describes the orb:
The line of "Muhammad is Allah's Messenger" should be in the shape taken by the Prophet's stamp that is found on many scripts of the Ottoman Empire. The scholar al-Bukhari said it was in the shape of three lines.
Some scholars said: "The stone of the Prophet's ring was Abyssinian and written on it was "No God, but Allah, and Muhammad is Allah's Messenger," with one line reading: "No God, but Allah," and the second line reading: "Messenger," and the third line reading "Muhammad."
The banner is also a reference to various hadith mentioning "the black banners of Khorasan":
The black flags will come from the East, led by mighty men, with long hair and beards ...
Now the people will give them what they asked for but they will not accept it until they will hand it over to a person from my progeny who will fill this earth with justice just as it was previously filled with oppression and tyranny. So if anyone of you finds this nation (i.e. from the east with black flags) then you must join them even if you have to crawl over ice.
From previous Long War Journal coverage of the reference:
The Khorasan is a region that encompasses large areas of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Iran. The Khorasan is considered by jihadis to be the place where they will inflict the first defeat against their enemies in the Muslim version of Armageddon. The final battle is to take place in the Levant - Israel, Syria, and Lebanon.
The political situation in Libya remains unstable, offering an opportunity for radical Islamist groups to assert themselves. Infighting by tribal and militia groups continues in southern and western Libya:
The European Union last week called on Tripoli to ensure parties to the conflict in the Sebha region of southern Libya lay down their weapons. Three days of clashes between rival tribal factions in late March left more than 70 people dead.
The interim government in Tripoli said this week it was concerned by fighting in the western coastal city of Zuwara. Ayoob Sufyan, a spokesman for the city government, told CNN the situation there was the worst violence since the height of the civil war last year.
"The situation is terrible," he said. "It is a real war now."
At least 26 people were reportedly killed in the western city Wednesday, al-Arabiya reports.