As I reported on Friday, Libyan rebel commander Abdul-Hakim al-Hasadi has admitted to fighting in Afghanistan – namely, on the side of al-Qaeda and the Taliban – and even to recruiting Libyans to join al-Qaeda in Iraq. Al-Hasadi made these admissions in conversation with Roberto Bongiorni of the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore. Bongiorni’s report from al-Hasadi’s hometown of Darnah contains another interesting detail: one that suggests just how widespread the participation of the locals in the Afghan and Iraq “jihads” must have been.
Bongiorni describes his arrival in Darnah as follows:
One sees that Darnah is a conservative city from the religious fervor of its inhabitants, from the Islamic manner of dress, from the long beards. “Dear brothers who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan,” the announcer on the local radio exhorts…, “Now is the time to defend your land!”
Bongiorni specifies that the local radio is “one of the broadcasters created after 42 years of censorship in Libya.”