Libya: North African countries await their Sept. 11
There are suspicions that Fajr Libya (Dawn of Libya), a coalition of Islamic fighters, is planning to carry out a terrorist attack using airplanes at the Tripoli International Airport. North African countries including Nigeria have all raised their alert because of fears that the 11 missing commercial aircrafts could be used to launch an attack. Fajr Libya took over the airport after a fierce battle with the rebels from Zintan which lasted for several weeks.
The missing aircrafts are being held by a particular group known as the Masked Men Brigade, according to Al Jazeera, and plans are underway to use them in terror attacks. Intelligence reports have also gathered that at least one of the aircrafts will be used in a regional attack. The captured jets belong to state-owned Libyan Airlines and Afriqiyah Airways.
Moroccan military expert Abderrahmane Mekkaoui did stress that he has “credible intelligence” that the Masked Men Brigade “is plotting to use the planes in attacks on a Maghreb [North African] state” on the 9/11 anniversary. Morocco and Algeria have raised the alert of a possible terrorist attack while Tunisia and Egypt have preferred to suspend flights from Libya. Nigeria is also on high alert.
Washington is not worried about the threats as the State Department minimized the importance of the missing threats.
Counter-terrorism expert Dr. Sebastian von Gorka said an attack using the aircrafts would be executed by “turning an innocent mode of mass transit into a super-high precision guided missile of immense potency,” taking the September 11 attacks as an example, or “use the airframe with its civilian markings as a tool of deception to insert a full payload of armed terrorists into a locale that otherwise is always open to commercial carriers.”