I was a forceful advocate of U.S. action in Libya and it is no secret that I believe that overthrowing Muammar Qaddafi should be the objective of the mission, but I am not dismissive of the valid concerns of those who disagree. The truth is that there are individuals tied to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and Al-Qaeda engaged in the fighting on the rebel side, and they will likely be rewarded if the opposition wins.
On Sunday, it was reported that Tunisia had arrested two members of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb with explosives and a bomb belt near the Libyan border. They were tied to two other individuals arrested a week earlier, presumably also members of Al-Qaeda. The terrorist group has endorsed the overthrow of Qaddafi, but has warned Muslims do not embrace the Coalition forces that intervened to save the rebels.
I still believe that you will see Al-Qaeda denounce the Libyan rebels as apostates once Qaddafi is overthrown. The leaders of the Transitional Council have denied being tied to the group and one top official flatly said, “There is no room for an Islamic state in Libya.” That is very strong and unequivocal language by the rebels that will earn them death threats.